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Anyone following slowly behind a senior on the highway can be quick to bemoan the dangers of older drivers. But actually, the assumption that seniors are the worst drivers on the road is quite inaccurate. Both teens and seniors are responsible for more accidents than middle aged drivers, making them riskier driving groups. However, when you compare teens and seniors, teen drivers cause significantly more traffic accidents than their older counterparts. Teens are responsible for 12.2 percent of car accidents while drivers over 65 are responsible for 7.5 percent.
You may worry about an older relative’s capacity to stay safe and alert behind the wheel, and that is a legitimate concern. Vision, hearing, and reaction time diminish as we age, which affects our ability to drive. However, an AAA study found that seniors are seriously impacted in negative ways when they stop driving. Their cognitive ability declines sharply. They become less social and productive. Their risk of depression doubles.
Teens pose very different risks than senior drivers. Many car accidents in Cherry Hill, and throughout New Jersey, are simply caused by teen driver inexperience. From a physical standpoint, the part of the brain that assesses risks is still developing in teens, making some of their choices questionable. Impulsivity and immaturity behind the wheel puts teens at risk.
Both groups can benefit from more stringent drivers’ testing programs and regulations. For teens that means more required practice hours, restricted hours on the road for beginning drivers, a limit on the number of passengers they can transport, and an increase in the driving age. In many states, similar guidelines are proving effective in reducing the number of car accidents involving teens.
For drivers over 65, that means more frequent hearing and vision screening. It also means ongoing driver education in the classroom and in-person license renewals. Automakers can make vehicles more senior-friendly with features like larger buttons and lane-departure alerts. When the government, auto manufacturers, and driver-interest agencies like AAA work together, teens and seniors become safer drivers and accidents are reduced.
If you or a loved one are seriously injured by a distracted or dangerous driver, Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at Folkman Law will shoulder the burden of your case. Call our South Jersey offices at 856-354-9444 to schedule a free consultation, or contact us online. With offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Folkman Law serves clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.