Though a driver of any age can be involved in a car crash, some drivers may have more risk factors than others. A recent study claims that, here in Georgia, senior citizens have a higher risk of being in car wrecks than in most of the rest of the nation, ranking fifth on the list. There are several reasons as to why this may be the case.
Older people's cognitive and physical abilities can decline due to age, making it more difficult for them to safely operate a vehicle. Experts say that families should watch for certain behaviors that may indicate that an elderly loved one should stop driving. If a loved one has increased difficulty hearing or seeing, cannot follow a conversation or has difficulty with motor skills, it may be best for everyone to convince the individual to stop driving. Also, if families notice that the older person's vehicle has new dents or the individual receives a lot of traffic citations, those can also be clues.
In 2017, elderly motorists were involved in 14% of fatal car crashes, though they only make up 19% of all motorists. That same year, 7,000 people older than 65 died in traffic incidents, making up 18% of victims of traffic fatalities. Some states showed that younger drivers were part of more accidents than senior citizens, including Georgia where 51% of fatal crashes involved a driver aged 15 to 20. No matter what, it is imperative that families discuss driving ability with everyone who could have an increased risk.
Though someone hurt in an accident caused by a senior citizen may be reluctant to pursue legal action, it is still appropriate to hold any responsible parties accountable. Here in Georgia, a personal injury attorney can pursue a civil claim that may result in monetary damages. That could be helpful in covering costs that often result from car wrecks.