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Older drivers may pose higher risk for Georgia car wrecks

Did you know that more than 40 million drivers in the United States are age 65 and older? Older drivers pose specific threats when it comes to car wrecks, largely because of physical changes that compromise their driving abilities. Studies show that older adults in Georgia and other states may experience age-related deficiencies in cognition and visual acuity, increasing the likelihood of an auto accident.

Older drivers can prevent some of the age-related declines by taking extra steps to stay safe on the road. These preventive measures include regular check-ups at the eye doctor to make sure that their vision is not deteriorating. Older drivers are also encouraged to avoid distractions in the vehicle while driving -- eating, talking on the phone and texting can be particularly troublesome for these drivers. Most elderly drivers are better served to plan their driving route in advance and avoid operating their vehicles in inclement weather.

Although we know that older drivers are less likely to cause a drunk driving accident -- because they are generally less likely to drive drunk -- other factors can contribute to their declining competency behind the wheel. The older driver may not intend to be a negligent driver, but deteriorating skills can lead them to endanger others on the road. Furthermore, older adults themselves are more likely to suffer serious injuries or even death in car accidents, largely because of the increased chance of developing medical complications.

Every driver deserves to feel safe on the road, and we all have the responsibility of maintaining our driving skills. Older adults whose abilities are compromised may be liable for pain and suffering, medical expenses and other claims associated with a crash. Victims of this type of auto accident deserve compensation for their civil claims.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Injury Prevention & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety, Older Adult Drivers," Dec. 22, 2016

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