Drivers who have the most accidents are teens between the age of 16 or 17. According to the AAA Foundation, these young drivers have the highest rate of involvement in car accidents and crashes involving injuries.
Elderly drivers are also at an increased risk of accident involvement. Older drivers have the second-highest rate of driver deaths from car accident injuries of all age groups, according to the AAA Foundation. Seniors may be less likely to survive moderate injuries after a car accident, making them more vulnerable in the event of a crash.
Senior Drivers Cause More Accidents Per Mile Driven
The statistics on the dangers of elderly drivers are somewhat misleading in some cases. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the rate of accident involvement for seniors is low per capita. When looking at drivers in their seventies, the rates of fatal injury crashes lowered by 15 percent between 1997 and 2018.
However, this does not tell the full story. The elderly generally drive much less and remain much closer to home than younger drivers. Many seniors also retain their driver’s license for several years even after they no longer drive, meaning that statistics for older drivers may include non-drivers as well.
For this reason, when you look at the fatal accident statistics for seniors per mile driven instead of per capita, the trend shows an increase that begins around age 70 and continues to rise.
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Elderly Drivers Cause Certain Types of Accidents More Often
Understanding what age drivers have the most accidents and concluding that teens and seniors are at increased risk may be helpful, but these conclusions do little to curb the problem. It is also important to understand the types of accidents seniors have and the reasons they experience them.
While teens are involved in almost every type of accident because of inexperience and risk-taking behaviors, seniors are generally much more careful. Still, there are certain types of accidents that are much more common among the elderly population.
Elderly Drivers Tend to Hesitate More Often
According to research published in Accident Analysis and Prevention, senior drivers are much more likely to be involved in accidents that require spotting another vehicle and deciding about whether or not it is safe to maneuver at that time.
Given the increase in cognitive, sensory, and perceptual challenges among older adults, misjudging distances, misreading traffic signals, and other decision-making errors can lead to accidents.
Elderly Drivers Have More Intersection Accidents
Intersection accidents are of particular concern, as the number of failure-to-yield right-of-way collisions among seniors is significant, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This is a common type of accident caused by seniors. This is likely because of inadequate surveillance.
Another study published by the IIHS found that inadequate surveillance was the most frequent driving error that led to collisions in drivers age 70 and up.
Inadequate surveillance occurs when a driver:
- Fails to look for traffic
- Looks but does not see traffic
- Misjudges the speed of another vehicle
- Misjudges the gap between their vehicle and another
Seniors over 70 years old are much more likely than adults between the ages of 35 and 54 to cause an accident because of inadequate surveillance.
How Do You File a Lawsuit for an Elderly Driver Accident?
Whether an elderly driver caused your accident or you are a senior injured in an accident, the Morris Bart law firm may be able to help. We can build a case to seek compensation for our clients, gathering evidence to support an insurance claim, and seeking recovery for losses, including:
- Past and future treatment and medical costs related to your injuries
- Ongoing care and support expenses
- Lost wages if you miss work because of your injuries
- Property damage to your vehicle or other personal property
- Pain and suffering damages
- Other intangible losses
- Wrongful death damages for surviving immediate family members
Contact us as soon as you can following the stabilization of your injuries. If it is necessary in your case, how long we have to file a lawsuit depends on the laws in your state and the facts of your case. However, it could be as little as one year from the day the accident occurred. We recommend starting the process of your claim as early as possible to keep your legal options open.
Let a Team Member from Morris Bart, LLC Assess Your Case
An experienced attorney from the Morris Bart law firm may be able to help if you were hurt in a traffic accident. Consultations are free, and we only receive payment when we successfully settle a case. We provide free accident evaluations and consultations for victims and their families. Call us at (504) 613-4771 to discuss your options.
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