Elderly Driver Accidents
The Baby Boomer Generation is reaching seniority, and with this arrival comes more elderly drivers than ever on the road. In 2016, there were 56% more licensed drivers over the age of 65 than in 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). That same year, about 7,400 seniors were killed and over 290,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes. Senior citizens are the backbone of our country, and are incredibly wise in many regards. However, older adults are not always the most qualified motor vehicle operators. If you find yourself in a car accident caused by an elderly driver, Rhode Island Car Accident Attorney David Tapalian can help you recover compensation for your injuries. At Tapalian Law, our legal experts have extensive knowledge handling car accidents of all kinds, including crashes involving elderly motorists.According to CDC reports, the number of fatal car crashes involving older drivers increases starting at 70 years old. Further, drivers age 85 and older are the most at risk of a dangerous car crash. These metrics are due to aging conditions that may affect an elderly person’s driving abilities, such as declining vision and memory impairments like dementia. Elderly drivers may also experience muscle or mobility issues, slower reaction time, and hearing problems that inhibit their driving.Common Causes of Elderly Driver Car Accidents
Some studies have shown that elderly drivers over the age of 75 are just as dangerous as teenage drivers. Although teen drivers are known to cause accidents because of speeding or distracted/impaired driving, elderly driver car crashes more commonly occur due to:
- Driving below the speed limit
- Drowsiness while driving
- Failing to yield at intersections
- Driving through traffic signals
- Braking unexpectedly
- Drifting into other lanes
Nearly half of men and 2/3 of women over the age of 65 are taking five or more medications at once. It is not always easy to determine how a combination of drugs, both prescription and non-prescription, will affect a person. This is especially true for seniors taking multiple medications prescribed by different physicians who may not be aware of other medications the person is taking. Some prescriptions come with a warning not to drive or operate heavy machinery due to potential impairment such as slowed reflexes and reaction times. Other drugs, or medication combinations, may cause drowsiness, while others may result in more serious side effects like sleep walking, or worse, sleep driving that the person may not recall doing.
There are certain rules that apply to older drivers in RI in an attempt to limit elderly car crashes. For example, drivers older than 75 have to renew their driving test every 2 years, whereas younger drivers only have to renew every 5 years. Further, many drivers have to regularly pass a vision test upon renewal, and a written or road test may be required by the DMV personnel. The DMV can also place restrictions on an elderly driver’s license such as limiting driving to daylight hours, or requiring vehicles to be equipped with mechanical controls. Unfortunately, even with these specific restrictions, ill-equipped elderly drivers still take to the roads. Further, the DMV rarely suspends driver’s licenses for age related reasons, and many senior citizens unfit for driving don’t want to give up their independence. If you are one of many that have been in a car accident involving an elderly person who is at-fault, you deserve compensation for your losses.
You may feel uncomfortable taking legal action against a well-meaning senior citizen after a traffic accident, however, most elderly driver car accident cases are settled outside of court and your compensation will come from the senior driver’s insurance company, not from their pocket. If you have been injured in a car accident, you should seek representation from an experienced Car Accident Attorney in RI like David Tapalian to ensure that you receive fair reimbursement for your medical bills and suffering.Consult Tapalian Law for a Free Consultation
Dealing with any type of car accident can be stressful and you may be unsure of where to turn for help. The situation can be made even more complicated when there is an elderly person involved. To ensure that you have the best legal representation on your side, contact Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer David Tapalian today for your motor vehicle crash caused by a senior driver. Let Attorney Tapalian’s 20 years of experience assist you with the difficult aspects of filing a claim and navigating the legalities of a car accident case. With a main office in Providence, and offices in Seekonk, MA, and Warwick, RI, we are easily accessible for anyone in Rhode Island. Our dedicated team of personal injury experts at Tapalian Law will walk you through the steps to receive the compensation you deserve. However, there is a 3-year statute of limitations on filing a car accident claim so it is important that you consult us immediately. Call Tapalian Law today at 401-552-5000 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.