Philadelphia Injury News

Seniors at the wheels

Twenty years hence, the United States will be teeming with elderly drivers, white-haired grandparents operating cars; it is predicted that the number of senior drivers will triple nationwide. With age comes experience and mature drivers are more conservative on the road. However, statistics gave the opposite picture. It showed that older drivers are more prone to multi-vehicular accidents than the younger ones.

Pennsylvania is one of the states with the highest percentage of elderly people. Many seniors discovered that this wonderful state has a big heart for the elderly. For instance, Pa residents gladly assist the seniors in getting their prescription, preparing their rent/property tax rebates and even offer free mass transit transportation outside rush hours. Are you aware that Pa’s lottery is established to help senior citizens? Pennsylvania loves the elderly and the city is loved back by return.

Research conducted on the relation of age with driving established those drivers who are 65 years and above are facing greater risk of being a victim in a vehicular mishap. Among 75 year–old seniors, the percentage of older drivers dying in the streets increases rapidly as old people are subject to crash resulting to death and injury. Three factors can be the reasons: old-age seemed to slow down the ability to judge in making left turns; the tendency of the seniors not to be aware that they are drifting in the midst of travel lanes; and lowering of the ability to change behavioral pattern in responding to unexpected or rapidly changing conditions.

Statistics are quite discouraging as traffic crashes indicate that senior drivers are at an enormous risk of becoming involved in fatal crashes. A research made by NHTSA a few years back reported in percentages cases of senior involvements as follows: all senior victims of traffic crashes- 5%; all those who died in traffic crashes -13%; all who died inside vehicles – 13% and from all pedestrian who died -18%.

A study conducted by NHTSA resulted that in the United States, 9% of older people make up the total population but 13% of crash fatalities were seniors.

An analysis of statistics points to the vulnerability of the elderly to crashes: in two-car fatal wreck with an elderly and a teen driver, the possibility of the old guy’s vehicle being crashed is 3.1 times. Twenty-seven percent of fatal vehicle wrecks, commonly happened when older driver are turning left. The highest numbers of accidents per miles driven are those 62-year-old drivers and neophyte teen- drivers. NHTSA added that the fatality result rate for 85 years old and above drivers is more than nine times as high as the rate for25 to 69 years old operators on the road.

Depriving a senior from the wheels is like taking part of this freedom so some techniques must be in place to make him realize that it is not his/her age which makes driving dangerous but outside condition.

Some measures are applicable to minimize the elderly from staying behind the car wheels. One good option is the obligatory driving test which is given to drivers who were involved in more than two car crashes a year and to drivers above 70 who were in a car crash at least twice a year.

Several states even proposed that requirements for senior licensing be toughen but it was thwarted when seniors lobbied for their rights. They claimed that age is not the reason for road accidents. And if seniors are required to get a retest, it must be given to everyone else.

Pennsylvania is one of the few states that require physicians to report patients with disability that can affect driving safety. However, some physicians are reluctant as it might endanger their relationship with their patient if they submit referrals.

Screening all drivers could be a good way to separate the reckless and incompetent drivers from the rest. Those who work with the elderly can administer the test for their wards. By the use of tests, drivers are quickly screened and identified as safe operators on the road or not.

By making use of the Department of Motor Vehicles) and insurance company records, high risk elderly drivers can be identified. It is also a practical way to analyze roadways, road conditions and other factors involved in the crash. This can start a comprehensive program to keep old people away from behind wheels.

If you have received a traffic ticket, please contact an experienced CARELESS DRIVING LAWYER. Protect right to drive legally.

 

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