Rates of fatal accidents are typically much higher among older adults, meaning anyone over 70 years of age, than other age groups. According to a report by the CDC, in 2015, 19 older adults suffered fatalities and 712 were injured due to a car accident on average each day. This elevated injury rate is not because older adults are necessarily more likely to be involved in an accident than other groups, but because older adults are at a higher risk of more severe injuries when they are involved in an accident.
When it comes to safe driving practices on the road, older adults are more likely to follow proper safety measures than other age groups. For instance, accident statistics show that 60 percent of older adult drivers and 71 percent of older adult passengers wear their seat belts. This is much higher than younger adults, who average at 37 percent. Older adults are also far less likely to drive under the influence than other age groups. Roughly 28 percent of drivers from the ages of 21 to 24 involved in a fatal accidents had a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of 0.08. This is compared to only 6 percent of drivers who were 75 years of age or older.
Self-regulation makes a big difference
Older adults have just as much right to be on the road as anyone else. Just as with other groups, if they take steps to regulate when and where they drive, they can help ensure that everyone on the road stays safe. Some of these regulatory behaviors include:
- Ensuring that glasses, corrective lenses and other prescriptions are up to date.
- Avoiding driving at night or during inclement weather.
- Sticking to roads that are well regulated and properly lit.
- Avoiding distractions while driving such as texting or talking on your phone, listening to the radio too loudly or eating while driving.
The Alabama car accident attorneys at Dean Waite & Associates know that we all must be honest about our own abilities and comfort levels when driving. We must all self-regulate to keep ourselves and others safe on the road, regardless of age. This may mean staying home during dangerous weather, taking a cab after a night out drinking with friends or avoiding driving at night altogether. Older adult drivers should especially take precautions if they have compromised vision. If you or a loved one have been injured on the road, contact Dean Waite & Associates today and find out how we can help you. We are dedicated to helping injured drivers seek justice.