Safety for Senior Drivers
All of us enjoy the freedom that driving provides. We have the ability to go anywhere and do anything, to run errands, go to work or school, or to meet friends for an evening out. For senior drivers, this independence can mean the difference between providing for themselves, and needing to depend on others for things such as grocery shopping, going to the doctor’s office, or simply getting in some recreation. Unfortunately, seniors have a greater chance of being seriously injured in car crashes and collisions, and car accidents involving senior drivers have become more alarmingly common. If you or someone you love is over the age of 65, here is what you need to know about the causes of senior driving accidents, and what South Carolina is doing to ensure both older drivers and those who share the road with them are protected.
Car Accidents Involving Senior Drivers
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 36 million older adult drivers in the United States. While driving helps seniors stay independent, it also presents greater risks for injuries due to senior driving accidents. The CDC states that 586 older adults are injured and 15 are killed each day in automobile crashes and collisions.
The National Institute on Aging attributes high rates of car accidents among older drivers in large part to the natural process of aging. Problems that can make driving difficult as we age include the following:
- Vision problems, making it difficult to see at night
- Hearing problems, which can hinder a driver’s ability to be alerted to traffic dangers
- Slower reaction times and reflexes, which can present problems if they need to break or swerve suddenly
- Stiff joints and muscles, which can make it harder to grip and turn the steering wheel
- Medications that older drivers may be taking for common conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, which can impair a driver’s functioning or judgment
South Carolina Senior Drivers
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, South Carolina requires drivers over age 65 to renew their license every five years, as opposed to the 10-year renewal period required for drivers under the age of 65. More frequent renewals can help ensure drivers receive adequate assessments in terms of issues such as medical health and vision, which are likely to change with age. Senior drivers can help themselves stay safe on the roads by being aware of their limitations, following their doctor’s instructions, and getting input from friends and family members when it comes to making decisions on when to stop driving.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been hurt or injured in a car accident or as the result of someone’s reckless or negligent conduct, contact the Anastopoulo Law Firm right away. Our experienced South Carolina personal injury and car accident attorneys provide aggressive legal representation and comprehensive client service. We will fight for your rights, and may be able to assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.