A new study shows that drivers 65 and older are involved in about 17 percent of traffic fatalities. This number is expected to grow as the baby boom generation, who make up the largest segment of the U.S. population, ages. By 2025, one out of every five drivers will be 65 and older.
City planners and traffic engineers are already considering ways to make roadways safer for older drivers and prevent car accidents. More generous merge lanes, better signage, and adding rumble strips to alert drivers who are veering off of the road may help make drivers safer. Experts also encourage older drivers and their families to educate themselves about safe driving and knowing how to look for the signs of someone who is no longer able to drive safely.
Of course, this can be a sensitive topic for family discussion, especially for older people who continue to live independently and rely on their cars. At the same time, older drivers should be aware of their own limitations, since negligent or risky driving could give rise to liability if they are involved in a car accident.
Safety advocates say that in order to serve the needs of the aging population, we need public transportation that is easier for older people to use and that is friendlier. Some have also recommended stricter standards for maintaining a driver’s license, including more routine testing.
For drivers that are injured in car accidents, the road to recovery can be long. If you or someone you know was injured by a driver who has not exercising due care, you may be able to recover for medical expenses and other costs caused by the accident. Contact an attorney to find out more about your rights after a car accident.
Source: Reuters, “Are American roads ready for aging Baby Boomers?” Jim Forsyth, Feb. 24, 2012.