A young boy in Alabama averted tragedy recently when he was driving with his elderly neighbor. According to KSWO, the driver of the car was 70-years-old and the driver and young man were on Interstate 65 headed towards the scrap yard. Unfortunately, the driver of the vehicle began to experience a diabetic episode and lost control of the car. The driver began swerving off the road as he went in-and-out of consciousness. His vehicle was weaving across three lanes of traffic and was running other cars off the road, as well as nearly striking the center wall.
Police observing the erratic driving tried to stop the truck, but the driver was not able to stop the vehicle. The truck got off at Exit 181 and the police chased the truck down as it went into oncoming traffic several additional times.
The 10-year-old passenger in the car began to take control at this point, putting his foot on the brake, grabbing hold of the steering wheel, pulling the vehicle over and putting the car into park. Both the young man and the driver were very lucky that the boy was able to react and prevent a serious collision.
Not every senior driver who is in a collision is so lucky. Unfortunately, seniors are at the greatest risk of being involved in fatal motor vehicle collisions, other than young teen drivers.
Senior Driving Risk in Mobile, AL
While seniors are at the lowest risk of any demographic group of getting involved in car accidents while driving drunk, age-related illnesses and impairments make senior drivers more dangerous than younger motorists on the road.
Health problems like diabetes are just one issue which could affect a senior's ability to drive. Seniors could have many medical conditions that cause impairment. In some cases, they may simply have slower reflexes, delayed reaction time, and worse vision than young people because of the natural affects of aging. All of this affects whether a senior can drive safely or not.
Because seniors tend to experience declines that affect driving, they have high death rates. In fact, while senior drivers represent only a portion of all drivers on the road and tend to drive during the daytime hours, accident and fatality rates among seniors remains disproportionately high.
Some states try to prevent seniors from continuing to drive when they are older, because states recognize the risks. However, this is not the case in Alabama.
Alabama does not require more frequent renewals for senior citizens with drivers licenses and Alabama does not impose any other additional requirements or limitations on a senior renewing a driver's license. Without state restrictions or controls, it becomes very important for seniors and their families to make informed choices about when a senior can no longer driver.