If you were to take a Sunday drive (as was common in olden days) through a Tennessee or Kentucky valley, you'd likely notice some motorists who appear older than others. While getting your driver's license for the first time might be a milestone you remember well in life, older people often see their ability to keep driving as a special sign of independence as well. Some say once you reach a certain age, the decision to drive or give up your keys should not be left to you.
What do you think? Should elderly drivers (let's say, age 65 and older) be the ones to determine whether they are still capable of safely operating motor vehicles? Should there be some sort of required test to determine if or when older drivers should lose their driving privileges? What about adult children caring for elderly parents? Should they have a say?
Elderly drivers not as dangerous as some might think
If you were to determine which drivers are at greatest risk for causing accidents, would the elderly rank high on your list? If so, you wouldn't be alone in your opinion. Many people (falsely) assume that the older a driver becomes, the more dangerous he or she will automatically be behind the wheel. The following facts might be of interest:
- The numbers of elderly people involved in fatal accidents are high, mostly because older people are more susceptible to fatal injuries upon impact than those younger in age, not necessarily because they are the ones always causing the accidents.
- More young drivers suffer fatalities in automobile crashes than older motorists.
- Approximately 30 percent of individuals age 65 and up surveyed, say they would rather trusted family members determine whether they should keep driving, thus demonstrating a collectively cautious mindset among elderly drivers.
- Self-driving cars are being developed that can not exceed certain speeds, which some say may help elderly drivers retain their licenses longer.
Whether states will adapt legislation that regulates the driving privileges of the elderly remains unknown. In the meantime, if you are a caretaker of an elderly person who drives, or are yourself over age 65 and still driving, it is good to know where to turn for support if a problem arises. Evidence shows elderly travelers are some of the most vulnerable when it comes to injuries suffered in vehicular collisions.
If your loved one or you suffered injuries in a crash caused by another motorist's negligence, you can obtain legal guidance to seek justice against any party or parties deemed responsible.