It’s Older Driver Safety Awareness Week! Older Driver Safety Awareness Week is observed in December because it is a time when families come together and can have important conversations. If you are an older driver or have an older driver in your family, then this article is for you.
We hope this article helps you and your loved ones have important discussions about older driver safety. If you are injured in a car accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer will help to protect your rights and ensure you receive maximum compensation. Contact Anthem Injury Lawyers at (702) 857-6000 to make an appointment for a free consultation.
What Is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week?
The U.S. population of people 65 and older is growing. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2011 and 2020 this population increased by 35 percent. That is why Older Driver Safety Awareness Week is so important. It is a reminder for this growing population to regularly evaluate how they drive. It is also a time to spread awareness of the many resources available to older drivers and their families to promote safety behind the wheel. This year, Older Driver Safety Awareness Week is observed from December 5 through December 9.
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Older Drivers by the Numbers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration compiled a fact sheet on traffic safety information about the older population. For the purposes of the fact sheet, “older” refers to people 65 and older. Key findings from the fact sheet include the following:
- In 2020, there were 6,549 people 65 and older killed in traffic crashes in the United States. This represented 17 percent of all traffic fatalities.
- Between 2019 and 2020 there was a 10 percent decrease in the number of people 65 and older killed in traffic crashes.
- Older drivers made up 21 percent of all licensed drivers in 2020 and 13 percent of drivers involved in fatal traffic crashes in 2020.
- Among the older population, the traffic fatality rate per 100,000 population in 2020 was highest for the 80-to-84 and 85-and-older age groups.
- Among passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2020, those 65 and older were restrained 68 percent of the time. This is compared to 45 percent for those under 65.
- In 2020, most traffic fatalities in crashes involving older drivers occurred during the daytime (72 percent), on weekdays (69 percent), and involved other vehicles (66 percent). This is notable when compared to all fatalities: 46 percent during the daytime, 59 percent on weekdays, and 44 percent involving another vehicle.
If you or a loved one are injured in a Las Vegas area car accident, you should contact Anthem Injury Lawyers. Our Las Vegas car accident lawyers offer you years of experience winning car accident cases. The team at Anthem Injury Lawyers will give you the best opportunity to gain maximum compensation for your injuries. Time is of the essence. Contact Anthem Injury Lawyers today at (702) 857-6000 to make an appointment for a free consultation.
Aging Can Affect Driving
Aging can affect driving in a number of ways. This does not necessarily mean that all people age the same. Medical conditions, medications, and other health issues can all impact a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Consider the following when discussing older driver safety:
- Regular vision checks. Vision is important to driver safety. If a driver is having difficulty reading street signs and seeing street markings, they may have a vision problem. The sooner a driver gets their vision checked, the sooner they may be able to address the problem.
- Drivers should consult with their doctor regarding how their medication may impact their driving.
- Physical issues. Drivers can also speak with their doctor about any physical issues that may impact their ability to perform necessary driving tasks. The doctor may be able to recommend physical therapy or fitness programs.
- Professional consultations. It is impossible to have all of the answers. Sometimes speaking with a professional can help resolve driver safety concerns. One option is a driver rehabilitation specialist. The specialist can help if a driver is becoming anxious or uncertain about their ability to safely operate a vehicle. A specialist will assess the driver’s abilities and offer advice to help them drive more safely.
- Driving within abilities. Age doesn’t necessarily mean that a driver has to give up driving altogether. It may be possible to create a driving plan that takes into account the driver’s limitations and capabilities. For example, a person who has difficulty driving at night may choose to only drive during the day.
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Older Drivers and Vehicles
If a driver is facing a difficulty with driving, it may be possible to modify the vehicle or use technology to overcome that difficulty. Some of those options include the following:
- Adapted vehicles. It is possible to modify vehicles to accommodate a driver’s needs. There is a range of adaptive equipment including hand controls, pedal extenders, and swivel seats.
- Driver assistance technologies. Driver assistance technologies help make the roads safer for everyone. These technologies can be useful for all drivers and include things like automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assistance.
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If you or a loved one are an older driver, you should stay alert for warning signs regarding the driver’s fitness. Zero Fatalities Nevada encourages drivers to look out for the following signs that a driver may not be fit to drive:
- Having trouble with lane changes
- Getting lost on familiar routes
- Difficulty reading road signs
- Issued two or more traffic tickets/warnings in the past two years
- Involved in two or more collisions or “near-misses” in the past two years
If you recognize any of the above warning signs, you have a number of options regarding how to proceed. Zero Fatalities Nevada encourages speaking up and having the conversation about driver fitness. There are other steps you can take as well including the following:
- Suggest a plan such as talking with a doctor or taking a driving course refresher
- Conduct a ride-along with the driver
- Discuss transportation alternatives
- Anonymously request for re-evaluation from the DMV
EXPERIENCED LAS VEGAS PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
We hope the above helps spread awareness about older driver safety. If you are injured in a Las Vegas area car accident, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Some people wonder why they need a personal injury lawyer to help them. A personal injury lawyer will work aggressively to protect your rights and help you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
Contact Anthem Injury Lawyers today at (702) 857-6000 to make an appointment for a free consultation.
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