Motor Vehicle Crashes: When Should You Suggest That a Family Member Stop Driving?


Older drivers are at a greater risk of involvement in motor vehicle crashes, but also for serious injuries and fatalities. That’s right; the most experienced drivers on the road are the ones at the greatest risk. The struggle that most family members face is that when elderly people are in accidents, it is not explicitly their fault. Just like you and everyone else on the road, they can’t control other drivers, and they can still get into accidents.

Unfortunately, when an older driver is in an accident, the likelihood of a fatality or Serious injury skyrockets. Their bodies are in a more frail State than someone in their 30s, and one bad accident can deteriorate their health quickly. The concern that most family members have isn’t that there elderly loved one will cause a crash. It’s that they will be in crash and experience serious injuries.

Elderly Crash Stats

As Baby Boomers hitting retirement age, we’re seeing a huge jump in elderly drivers. The elderly driver population made up about 44 million licensed drivers in 2017, and without question, that number has increased. Now, driving helps keep older adults mobile and independent. From the time that someone turns 16 or 18 and is eligible for a driver’s license, they’re given access to a greater degree of freedom. Most can come and go as they please because of the freedom of having a vehicle, and a driver’s license brings.

Your elderly family member does not want to be told that they are too old to drive or that they need to surrender their level of independence.

Of Course – No One Wants to Stop Driving

Although no one wants to stop driving, the state of Georgia does have some restrictions when it comes to elderly drivers. Drivers over 64 must take and pass a vision screening every five years.

It is often these Vision exams or the presence of a prescription medication that causes elderly people to stop driving. If you’re worried that awareness or bad vision is a factor for your elderly loved one, then consider talking to them about their next DDS appointment. That can help set the stage for talking about ending their driving career.

Real Dangers Go Beyond Fault

Drivers over 75 have a much higher crash risk. But the crash risk isn’t the primary concern. The death rate among drivers over 75 is extraordinarily high because of their bodily vulnerability.  Yes, changes in vision and cognitive function do affect their ability to drive.

Almost every day, about 700 elderly citizens are injured in a car accident, and an additional 20 are killed.  It is impossible for an elderly adult to be responsible for every single one of these accidents. The danger isn’t just about bad vision-impairing their ability to drive; it’s about the vulnerability of their body to sustain injuries from an accident if one were to happen.

Are There Clear Alternatives to Them Driving?

Although Uber and Lyft are available throughout Georgia, a lot of seniors don’t feel comfortable using these Services. It’s not just the element of relying on their phone to hail what is essentially a taxi. The concern is being alone with a stranger. The elderly community is at an extremely high-risk for violent crimes, and being apprehensive about being left alone with a stranger is completely reasonable.

Another alternative would be to have a family member drive them wherever is necessary. Of course, this still puts restrictions on exactly where they can go and what they can do. They need to wait for a family member to get to their home, and there may be a matter of convenience impacting the situation as well.

Resolve an Elderly Crash with Atlanta Auto Accident Attorneys

With an elderly person involved in a crash, you might have to dive deeper into possible injuries. The insurance companies involved will work diligently to reduce the damages that they acknowledged. They may even try to attribute some injuries to pre-existing conditions, pre-existing injuries, or even age. The fact of the matter is that your elderly loved one experienced more injury because of the crash. If there hadn’t been a crash, then there wouldn’t be the injuries regardless of their age, pre-existing conditions, or even old injuries.

At the Weinstein firm, we work hard to make sure that ordinary people aren’t taken advantage of by insurance companies. Contact our support team access experienced and skilled car accident attorneys in Atlanta. The Weinstein firm is here for your family.

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