Around 42 million drivers in the U.S. are 65 or older, and the number continues to grow. Wisconsin residents probably know that senior drivers can struggle to drive safely due to the effects of aging. While the overall number of traffic fatalities has gone down since 2009, it has been increasing among senior citizens. In 2017, these older drivers made up 14% of all drivers in fatal crashes.
A study from The Senior List ranked the states based on the number of senior drivers involved in fatal crashes. The five worst are Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and North Carolina while the five best are New Hampshire, South Dakota, Delaware, Hawaii and North Dakota. The worst states are often the most populous, but the connection does not hold for every state. Tennessee, the eighth worst state, has a population outside the top 15.
Seniors often do not know, or refuse to believe, that they are no longer fit for driving. Those with an elderly loved one should look out for certain signs regarding whether a senior is still fit for driving. These signs include hearing and vision impairment, slow reaction times, inability to keep up in conversations and difficulty with motor control. Some states require tests and frequent license renewal for seniors.
If a senior citizen causes a motor vehicle accident, those who are injured may be able to file a claim. It all depends on each party’s degree of fault. If plaintiffs are partially to blame, this will lower the amount that they will be eligible for in damages. To ensure a fair settlement, victims may want to hire a lawyer. Investigators might come in to gather evidence. If negotiations fail to elicit a fair offer from the other side, the lawyer may prepare the case for court.