The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that although it is not always necessary for an elderly individual to stop driving altogether, there are some unique issues that older drivers should be aware of and face head on. As your elderly relative ages, you may begin to notice some uncharacteristic behaviors, such as driving too fast or too slowly, becoming overwhelmed by directions or getting lost on familiar routes, and receiving traffic tickets or becoming involved in minor crashes. If you notice any of these behaviors, then it may be time to have a conversation with your loved one about safe driving.
The fact is that if an older driver is involved in a wreck, he or she is more likely to suffer injuries or death, especially if over the age of 75. Older male drivers are particularly vulnerable to being involved in fatal crashes, as compared to older women drivers, but many older drivers in general do tend to moderate their own driving levels. For instance, older drivers do not tend to drive as far from home or as often as drivers of other ages. These drivers also tend to avoid rush-hour traffic, as well as driving at night if at all possible.
However, the reality is that older Americans are likely to outlive their driving abilities by about seven to ten years, on average. This may be due to changes in physical or cognitive abilities, a loss of confidence in driving ability, a loss of basic driving skills due to disuse of those skills, dementia, and declining central vision. While physical changes tend to be more noticeable, cognitive changes are much more subtle, and, as a result, you may not notice the decline as quickly as you might think.
At Boller & Vaughan, we know that suffering injuries in a serious accident can be both physically and emotional painful. We are here to take some of the burden off your shoulders by allowing us to pursue any legal claims that are available to you and work toward much-needed and much-deserved compensation. As skilled Madison accident lawyers, we are here to help you through this ordeal from a legal perspective, while you concentrate on healing yourself and your family by receiving the proper care and moving forward with your life. Please call us at 608-268-0268 for your free consultation.