As a senior or older adult, there are numerous reasons why driving is beneficial for you. Driving helps you stay mobile. It’s also a great way to remain independent and avoid isolation. However, you’re also prone to traffic accidents that may necessitate your hiring a Maryland personal injury attorney.
CDC reported about 8,000 seniors road crash fatalities in 2019. Meanwhile, the NHTSA puts the exact number as 7,214. According to the National Institute of Aging, specific health changes and challenges can impede an older motorist’s ability to drive. Those conditions include eyesight and hearing problems, stiff joints and muscles, dementia, slower reflexes, etc.
However, despite these risks, there is a constantly increasing number of older adult motorists on US roads. The CDC report shows a 60% increase in driving seniors since 2000 with more than 45 million senior drivers. Currently, about one in five drivers are 65 years or older.
As such, it’s important to focus on how seniors can drive safely. This article discusses how older drivers can keep safe on the roads. It also covers when to quit driving for good.
What Causes Older Driver Accidents?
These factors can cause or contribute to seniors’ road crashes in Maryland:
Older adults who text or make calls while driving are prone to causing an auto accident. Sometimes, distracted driving for seniors is due to adverse health conditions related to aging. These include strokes, Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, arthritis, etc.
Speeding or Driving Below Speed Limits
Speeding is one of the most dangerous motorist behaviors. It’s worse when older adults drive above the recommended speed limits because their slow reflexes further delay their reaction time. Unfortunately, seniors are also prone to driving too slowly, which can cause road crashes.
Generally, as we age, our ability to see properly declines. For seniors with such age-related vision problems, it’s dangerous to drive at night or in dark conditions.
How Do Older Adult Drivers Stay Out of Collisions?
Seniors can protect themselves from traffic crashes and injuries through these best practices:
Use Safety Belts properly
Although seat belts wouldn’t prevent an accident, they can limit the risk of severe injuries. Seat belts ensure that drivers aren’t ejected from the vehicle in a crash. According to the CDC, seat belts reduce a driver’s risk of death by 45% and the risk of serious injuries by 50%.
As an older adult, you must pay 100% attention to your driving. Avoid using electronic devices, looking elsewhere, etc., while driving.
Don’t Drive in Bad Weather or at Night
Adverse environmental factors can easily increase your risk of traffic accidents. To that end, only drive through familiar routes, and avoid moving in bad weather or dark conditions. If possible, avoid roads that will make you left-turn or perform any dangerous maneuver.
Consider Your Medications
The medications you take for age-related illnesses can further affect your driving. So, be sure to watch out for the drugs’ side effects before you take them. For example, you shouldn’t take medicine with lightheaded side effects before driving.
Obey All Traffic Regulations
From avoiding DUI to not running red lights, there are numerous safety rules for road users to obey. Seniors are bound by them too.
When Should You Stop Driving?
There’s no specific age to quit driving as individuals differ. However, if you’re experiencing one or more of the following, it may be an indication to stop:
- Confusion when driving. This includes not knowing when to keep driving, make turns, or stop.
- Running red lights
- Getting lost even on familiar routes
- Close calls on the road
- Friends and family express concern about your driving
What To Do After a Traffic Crash in Maryland
Here’s what to do after getting in a road accident in Maryland:
- Check yourself and others for injuries.
- Dial 911 and wait for the police and emergency services to arrive
- Take pictures and videos of the crash scene
- Get witnesses’ statements
- Call your accident lawyer immediately
Contact a Maryland Personal Injury Attorney Now!
If someone else caused your traffic crash in Maryland, it’d help to file a personal injury claim against them. That way, you wouldn’t have to worry about medical bills and property repair costs.
Our Maryland car accident lawyers at Pinder Plotkin LLC will help you see your compensation process through. Hiring us means that we’ll protect your rights fully, and no one can cheat you of what you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with our experienced attorneys by dialing our office right away.