The number of drivers over the age of 65 in Georgia and around the country rose from 33 million in 2009 to 45 million in 2018, and that figure is expected to rise to more than 60 million by 2030. This worries road safety experts because older drivers are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a crash even though they are less likely to engage in dangerous behavior behind the wheel. In 2018, motor vehicle accidents in the United States claimed the lives of almost 7,700 senior citizens. This means that more than 20 older drivers lose their lives on the nation’s roads every day.
The risk of being seriously injured or killed in a motor vehicle collision increases with age. Even minor accidents can be fatal to older drivers because of age-related medical conditions like fragile bones. Health issues can also make it more difficult for older drivers to avoid a crash. Arthritis, which is a condition that afflicts about 80% of older Americans, can make performing simple driving tasks extremely difficult and painful, and many of the medications that 75% of senior citizens take to treat their medical issues can cause drowsiness.
Older people understand that their bodies are no longer as robust as they once were, which is why senior citizens are far more likely to fasten their seat belts and less likely to venture out onto the roads after dark. However, older drivers have higher accident fatality rates than any demographic group other than teens despite driving far fewer miles. Experts fear that senior citizen road deaths will continue to climb in the years ahead as lifespans grow longer and the number of older drivers increases.
Older drivers who are injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by negligence may pursue civil remedies by filing lawsuits against the reckless motorists responsible. When advocating on behalf of senior citizen accident victims, experienced personal injury attorneys may consult with medical specialists to ensure that the damages being sought are sufficient to cover their health care expenses and adequately compensate them for their pain and suffering.