People ages 65 and older tend to have slower reaction times behind the wheel than younger drivers. This can be brought on by illness, medication or simply by the natural process of aging. Slower reaction times can put both the driver and those sharing the road with them in dangerous situations.
Lately, there’s been an increase in motor vehicle accidents caused by senior drivers, According to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, the number one cause of accidents on the roadways is senior drivers between the ages of 64-75 years.
Seniors are often unwilling to surrender their car keys. In many cases, driving symbolizes their last bit of freedom, and they understandably do not want to give that up.
Talk to the elderly drivers in your family
If the senior driver in your family has had several close calls, you should have a discussion with them about staying safe on the road. These tips can help:
- Obey the posted speed limit. Driving too fast or too slow can cause accidents.
- Keep up the maintenance on your car. If necessary, take your car to a service center to ensure everything is running properly.
- Don’t drive if you aren’t feeling well. Wait until you feel better to drive.
- Do not engage in any distracting behavior when driving, such as talking on the phone or drinking coffee.
- Arrange for an Uber or have a friend pick you up if you aren’t up to driving yourself.
Remind them what to do if they are in an accident. Stay calm and call 911 for help. Allow the paramedics to check for injuries and transport them to the hospital if necessary.
What if I’m injured by a senior driver?
If you have been injured by a senior driver, you may be entitled to recover the costs of your medical bills and damages.