Aging baby boomers have brought the number of senior citizen drivers in the U.S. to an all-time high. It’s been estimated that 10,000 people per day will reach age 65 each year between 2011 and 2030. Although these drivers are very experienced, they are at a high risk of auto accidents. It’s been estimated that on average, there are 15 fatalities and over 500 injury accidents every day in the U.S. that are attributable to senior citizens.
Even though seniors have the benefit of a great deal of driving experience, physical factors can take their toll on a body as a person ages, which can affect a senior’s driving ability. Older people typically have decreased reaction times. Elderly drivers often have vision impairments, which can be dangerous for drivers, especially at times when visibility is already low. Older drivers may have cognitive impairments that limit their mental abilities they need while driving. Finally, it’s common for senior citizens to take multiple prescription drugs, which can affect their ability to drive.
Senior citizens may be susceptible to physical and mental issues that can affect their driving ability. However, in spite of that, many senior citizens can be safe drivers. Older drivers tend to be more cautious. They wear their seat belts more, and are much less likely to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol than younger drivers. They can be even safer if they choose to take additional steps before driving. They should check their medications with their doctors before using them while driving. They should have their hearing and vision tested on an annual basis. Senior citizens should also have physical exams annually if they are worried about any physical limitations that may keep them from driving. Finally, seniors should take extra precautions, such as planning out driving routes, limiting driving during bad conditions, and giving themselves extra time to reach destinations.
Although most senior citizens are safe drivers, many are not. They can and do cause accidents every day. Like all drivers, they must carry at least a minimum of liability insurance under California law. They also should consider getting higher amounts of coverage to protect them financially in the event of an accident – many seniors have a nest egg put away that could be at risk if they hurt someone in an accident.
If you have been injured in an accident with a senior citizen driver, you need to take steps to protect your legal rights. A San Francisco car accident caused by the negligent behavior of an elderly driver should be aggressively prosecuted to protect the legal rights of accident victims. At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty and Seth I. Rosenberg believe that anyone who is injured in an automobile accident should take every legal step required to protect himself or herself.
Call the San Francisco automobile accident attorneys at Liberty Law if you have been involved in an automobile accident in the San Francisco – Oakland area. Our attorneys can help ensure you get the compensation to which you are entitled, including money for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. We work with clients throughout the San Francisco Bay area, including Oakland, Hayward, Fairfield, San Jose, Tracy, Sacramento, Berkeley, and the surrounding areas.
Call us today at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000 to learn more about your legal options if you have been injured in an automobile accident. We will provide you with a free consultation on your case. If we choose to accept your case, you pay us nothing until we obtain compensation for you. Call us today to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys.