Becoming a senior citizen is a milestone that comes with numerous benefits, but as the years pass, new limitations may appear as a natural result of the aging process. It is important for elderly drivers to be aware of these limitations and make sure to take extra precautions behind the wheel. If they feel that their vision or coordination is beginning to become an issue, individuals should consider modes of transportation other than driving themselves.
It is not uncommon for older drivers to cause collisions in Atlanta. In some cases, these accidents result in serious or fatal injuries to the drivers and occupants of other motor vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Did you suffer severe injuries or was your loved one killed in an accident caused by an elderly driver in Atlanta? Contact an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case and learn about your rights and legal options.
The Champion Firm, P.C. has recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We will review your case as soon as you call us or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Car Accidents Involving Senior Drivers in Atlanta
When you are injured or your loved one is killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by an older driver, the negligent driver’s reaction is often unpredictable. Some elderly drivers may express instant regret and try to attribute blame to factors beyond their control, while others might claim that another driver was at fault for causing a collision.
Disputes about liability are common in Atlanta car crashes, but an elderly driver can be just as liable for a victim’s injuries as a negligent driver of any age. However, Georgia does place some stricter measures on the licensing of older drivers.
While younger drivers must renew their licenses every eight years, drivers 60 years of age or older must renew every five years. Additionally, the Georgia Department of Driver Services requires drivers 64 years of age or older to undergo a vision screening when they renew their license.
Even when elderly drivers seem clearly at fault for car crashes, the insurance companies representing these motorists will invariably try to assign blame to other parties or causes. In other words, accident victims are often accused of somehow contributing to or causing the crash.
No matter how confident you are that an older driver was at fault in your crash, you should always avoid speaking to that driver’s insurance company until you have legal representation. Representatives for insurers may seem friendly and concerned about helping you, but they usually have the goal of getting you to provide recorded statements that unknowingly damage your injury claim.
Common Causes of Atlanta Car Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers
Older drivers may be more likely to cause car accidents because of various age-related health concerns. Some drivers may have bad vision. Other drivers may be suffering from impairment created by prescription medication use. In some cases, a driver may be dealing with arthritis or other effects of old age that limit their ability to operate their vehicle properly.
In general, some of the most frequent underlying causes of crashes involving senior citizens include:
- Improper turns
- Failure to yield
- Driving the wrong way
- Distracted driving
- Pressing the gas pedal instead of the brake
- Failure to signal
- Erratic driving
- Impaired driving
Night accidents involving older drivers can occur as a result of the driver’s reduced vision. In some cases, an elderly driver may be operating under the influence of a prescription medication, an over-the-counter medication, an illegal drug, or alcohol.
Elderly Driver Car Accident Statistics in Atlanta, GA
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 47.8 million people (roughly 15 percent of the United States population) were 65 years of age or older, but older people accounted for 6,165 fatalities (18 percent) in traffic crashes that year. According to NHTSA , the U.S. population of people 65 years of age or older increased 29 percent between 2006 and 2015, and driver fatalities among this population increased 3 percent.
NHTSA reported that 3,859 drivers 65 years of age or older were killed in crashes in a single recent year, while 828 fatalities were passengers in the older drivers’ vehicles. Another 1,250 fatalities were occupants in other vehicles, and 671 were non-occupants.
According to the American Automobile Association, over 75 percent of drivers 65 years of age or older reported using one or more medications, but less than one-third understood how the medications could impact driving performance.
The Insurance Information Institute reported that drivers 65 years of age or older were involved in 1,158 pedestrian fatalities (19 percent of total pedestrian fatalities) in one recent year.
According to the institute’s study, the 4,122 drivers 65 years of age to 74 years of age in fatal crashes in 2016 represented 11.8 percent of the 26,070,715 licensed drivers. People 75 years of age or older accounted for 15,633,421 licensed drivers and were involved in 2,971 crashes.
Legal Help for People Harmed in Senior Driver Car Accidents in Atlanta
If you sustained catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in a accident caused by an elderly driver in Atlanta, you do not have to deal with an insurance company on your own. You should get help from an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer. Legal representation will give you the best chance of recovering every dollar of compensation you need and deserve.
The Champion Firm, P.C. represents residents of and visitors to Atlanta, and many other surrounding areas of Georgia. Call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.