Some studies have shown older drivers may be prone to certain types of accidents. Age-related conditions may contribute to the risk.
Drivers who have had many years of experience obeying traffic laws and avoiding accidents may be some of the safest drivers in the country. However, for many in New York and elsewhere, there may come an age when driving skill decreases, regardless of past experience.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 15 seniors are killed and 500 more are injured in accidents across the country every day. Many of these accidents may be caused by age-related conditions that make it less safe for an older driver to be behind the wheel.
Results of studies on aging and driving
Numerous studies have shown an increased risk of elderly drivers in fatal car crashes at intersections, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. The accidents that seniors are more prone to include left-turn crashes, accidents at stop signs and at yield signs, rather than traffic signal lights.
Other studies, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, have shown that older drivers may be less likely to see an approaching vehicle, or may improperly judge an oncoming vehicle's speed or distance.
What are some of the factors that can result in an age-related accident? According to NIH Senior Health, after age 75, drivers may be more likely to suffer from any of the following conditions:
• Injuries, muscle weakness or other physical conditions that can affect the operation of a motor vehicle
• Impairments in vision or hearing
• Medications that may cause confusion, dizziness or drowsiness
• Cognitive conditions that may confuse a driver
• Reduced reflexes in reacting to a hazard
A recent accident in New Rochelle highlighted the possible difficulties an older driver may face. According to ABC New York, an 88-year-old woman may have been attempting to park her SUV when she lost control of the vehicle and crashed through a convenience store window. A customer inside suffered minor injuries. Authorities were still investigating the cause of the accident.
Some states have addressed the potential risks involving older drivers by creating regulations regarding driver's licensing renewals. For example, they might require proof of adequate vision or a shorter renewal period between licenses after a certain age. However, no separate rules exist in New York regarding older drivers. If you are injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, you may wish to seek compensation. An experienced New York personal injury attorney should be able to inform you on whether you have a case, and assist you during the legal process.