Elderly Are More Susceptible to Accident Injuries
Studies show that older drivers are more likely to suffer serious injuries when involved in a car accident. In 2014, more than 230,000 older drivers were treated in emergency rooms across the country due to car accidents, and more than 5,700 senior drivers suffered fatalities.
As Americans reach the age of 70, their risk of being involved in a fatal car accident increases greatly with every year, up to age 85 and older. Car accidents at intersections involving multiple vehicles account for 40 percent of all fatal crashes for drivers aged 80 and older, as compared to 20 percent for drivers aged 59 and younger.
Why senior drivers are more vulnerable
While some may be quick to assume that older drivers are less capable behind the wheel, the data suggests that is a very small factor. As we age, our vision, hearing, and reaction time decline, but that does not account for the incremental increase in injuries and fatalities as drivers get older.
One reason older drivers are at a greater risk for injury after a serious car accident is because they are more susceptible to injury and medical complications with age. Older bodies are more fragile and less likely to recuperate from injuries that younger people easily recover from, as bones are more brittle and prone to fractures. Pre-existing medical conditions that seniors are more likely to suffer from, such as diabetes and heart disease, make recovery from serious injuries more challenging.
Senior drivers and safety
Despite the increased likelihood of serious injury in a car accident, seniors are statistically safer drivers when compared to other age groups. Research shows they are more likely to use their seatbelts, avoid bad weather, and avoid driving while intoxicated. A recent study found that drivers aged 65 and older wore their seatbelts more than 75 percent of the time, while younger drivers only used them two-thirds of the time.
Preventing car accidents among seniors
Seniors already seem to be among the most responsible drivers on the road, but should keep up with routine check-ups, as well as hearing and vision screenings to ensure they are fit to drive. Seniors should exercise regularly to maintain flexibility and strength. When it comes time to hit the road, mapping out a route ahead of time keeps drivers from becoming lost or making dangerous last-second lane changes. Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents. Older drivers need to put down the phone and stay off the radio to prevent accidents.
South Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Folkman Law Represent Injured Victims
Even if you follow every possible safety precaution, serious car accidents still happen. South Jersey car accident lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. advocate for senior drivers and passengers injured due to another person’s negligence. Call the Cherry Hill, New Jersey, office at 856-354-9444 or complete the online contact form to schedule a consultation. Folkman Law also has offices in Philadelphia and King of Prussia to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.