As baby boomers age, so does the number of crashes that involve older drivers. Unfortunately, that means an increasing number of serious car accidents and fatalities that involve seniors.
There are ways for elderly drivers to protect themselves and others on the road. While some older drivers should not drive due to impairments, most can drive safely by taking several precautions.
What Are Some Common Hazards for Seniors?
Most younger drivers grew up using seat belts. That is not true for some older drivers, and seniors are the least likely to buckle up. Proper seat belt use is a top priority for all motorists.
Older drivers should abstain from consuming any alcohol, even a relatively small amount, before getting behind the wheel. While such consumption may prove below the legal blood alcohol count of 0.08 percent, alcohol may affect you more as you age. Since older drivers often take medication, alcohol mixed with pharmaceuticals can cause side effects that interfere with driving ability. Be aware of side effects and check prescription bottles before driving.
Drive during the day as much as possible and avoid night driving unless it is necessary. It is harder to see at night, and glare from streetlights and headlights can exacerbate the problem. It is also wise to run errands and conduct other business during non-peak traffic hours.
Everyone must take extra care during inclement weather, but that is especially true for senior drivers. Seniors may no longer have the reaction time needed or the physical skills to drive safely in heavy rain, high winds, or fog.
Should Elderly Drivers Avoid Intersections?
Older drivers are more likely to experience crashes at intersections than their younger counterparts. Seniors are also more likely to get into a crash while making a left-hand turn. Seniors may want to alter their routes to avoid intersections and left-hand turns when possible, even if it means driving a longer distance.
Other common issues senior drivers face include failing to use the right-of-way and yield, which accounts for a greater number of collisions in this age group.
Is Distracted Driving Common Among Seniors?
Distracted driving is a problem in every age group, but some older drivers may not realize distractions consist of more than texting or talking on a cellphone. Some may not believe that eating, drinking, or letting a dog loose in the car is a distraction, but these behaviors can cause an accident.
Seniors may want to stop listening to music or news while driving or anything else that might take their attention off the road. This also applies to long conversations with other occupants of the vehicle.
It is important to always practice safe driving, but some accidents are unavoidable. If you are injured in an accident, it is advisable to speak to an experienced lawyer.
Our Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Handle all Types of Car Wrecks
If you were injured by an elderly driver or if you are an injured senior, you need to speak to one of our Virginia Beach car accident lawyers immediately. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will review your case and hold the accountable driver responsible. Contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237 for a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.