While the older drivers may have more experience on the road, they are also responsible for a disproportionate number of accidents. A report released by TRIP states that although drivers over 65 account for 8% of all miles driven, they are involved in at least 17% of all reported crashes.
Older drivers are more susceptible to serious injury from car accidents for a number of reasons. First, age comes with increased physical frailty and related medical issues. These issues include slower reaction time, poorer eyesight, and reduced muscle dexterity. Furthermore, when such accidents happen, injuries tend to be more severe due to this increased frailty. TRIP singles out “safely moving through intersections” as especially hazardous for older drivers.
Despite these numbers, no one is suggesting that we revoke the licenses of all older drivers. One of the major determining factors in quality of life is mobility, and to deny that to an ever-increasing proportion of the population could only lead to trouble. Rather, it is being suggested that steps be taken to make the roads safer for older drivers. Some of the more prominent suggestions include clearer signs with larger lettering, increased width of pavement markings, widening lanes, and brighter lighting.
In addition to making the roads easier for older drivers to use, the TRIP report has recommended the expansion of public transportation and “non-traditional and public sector approaches that are tailored to the needs of older adults.” Such non-traditional approaches include carpools, volunteer driving programs, and door-to-door community transportation services.
Currently, Mississippi has no special provisions for older drivers, such as renewals contingent on vision tests. Compare this to Illinois or New Hampshire, both of which require all renewal applicants over the age of seventy-five to take a road test.
The statistics are scary and innocent people can get injured or killed by elderly drivers who are still on the road driving even after their mental and physical abilities have declined. If you or a loved one has been injured or there has been a wrongful death resulting from a Mississippi car accident involving an elderly driver, the Mississippi car accident lawyers at The Stroud Law Firm may be able to help you obtain compensation for your injuries or loss.Source: “Keeping Baby Boomers Mobile,” by Transportation Research Group, published at TripNet.org.
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