Older Drivers: Steps to Safe Driving
Did you know that each day, approximately 20 older adults are killed, and an additional 700 are injured in motor vehicle crashes? Driving can be essential for many older persons. It allows them the ability to maintain their independence. Driving can also be dangerous. According to the CDC, as a person ages, the risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash increases. There are steps senior drivers can take to stay safer on the roads. Here we discuss safety tips for older drivers as well applicable Nevada laws.
We hope these tips help to keep you safe. However, even the safest senior drivers can be injured in a car accident. If you are injured in an accident that is not your fault, seek medical help immediately. Once you have sought medical care, you should seek legal help from a personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents. A personal injury lawyer will assist you with dealing with the insurance company and getting you the compensation to pay for your medical bills. The law firm of Anthem Injury Lawyers has a dedicated team of lawyers and staff ready to help you with your personal injury case. Contact us today at (702) 857-6000 to make an appointment for a free consultation.
How Do Nevada Laws Impact Seniors’ Driving?
In Nevada, licensed senior drivers have the same privileges as other drivers. Most of the laws that impact older drivers involve license renewal. Driver’s licenses for individuals age 65 and older are valid for four years. An individual may renew their driver’s license by mail. Pursuant to Nevada Administrative Code (NAC) 483.430:
- If the individual is 71 years of age or older, he/she may only submit for renewal by mail if he/she submits both:
- A statement from a licensed physician that it is the physician’s opinion that the person is physically able to safely operate a motor vehicle.
- A report from a licensed ophthalmologist, optometrist, or physician regarding the vision of the person. This includes the visual acuity of the person in each eye, with corrective lenses, if applicable.
Why Are Older Persons at Risk in Accidents?
According to the CDC, older drivers are at increased risks in accidents. Individuals aged 75 and older have higher crash death rates than middle-aged drivers because of their increased vulnerability to injury in a crash. The CDC reports that in 2017:
- Almost 7,700 adults 65 years of age and older were killed in motor vehicle crashes.
- More than 257,000 of the older adults were treated in emergency departments for motor vehicle crash injuries.
Have you been injured in an accident through no fault of your own? This can be a stressful time, especially when you are trying to recover from your injuries. Anthem Injury Lawyers have experienced car accident attorneys who are ready to help you. In fact, we have represented a great number of car accident victims who have trusted us to get them the maximum compensation they were due. Our successes in these car accident cases make us a respected Las Vegas personal injury law firm. Contact us today at (702) 857-6000 to make an appointment for a free consultation.
What Affects Older Individuals’ Driving Abilities?
Overall older adults tend to be safer drivers. They wear seat belts, drive when conditions are safest, and do not drink and drive. Other factors impact safe driving as well. As individuals age they may experience declines in vision and cognitive functioning. Other age-related physical changes may impact driving abilities as well.
Warning Signs to Consider Before You Drive
Age can bring about unexpected changes and challenges. Individuals are keeping their licenses longer and longer. Some individuals have to make the tough decision to give up their license. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) compiled the following five questions to assess whether it is okay to stay behind the wheel.
- Do you frequently have difficulty reading street signs and seeing street markings?
- Does driving leave you feeling anxious and stressed?
- Have friends or family members expressed concern regarding your driving, or said they don’t feel safe with you behind the wheel
- Do you have difficulty with certain physical requirements of driving? For example, do you have trouble looking over your shoulder when changing lanes?
- Are you currently taking medication that causes drowsiness or otherwise impedes your ability to drive?
Safety Steps for Senior Drivers
If a driver answers yes to any of the above questions, it may still be possible to continue to drive safely. AARP recommends older drivers consider the following steps:
- Evaluate your medication. Many medications can make you drowsy or affect your concentration. Your doctor may be able to recommend alternative medications. Your doctor may also give you certain driving restrictions that can keep you out of potentially dangerous situations. Driving restrictions may include avoiding night driving or curvy country roads.
- Consult with a driver rehabilitation specialist. The specialist can help if you’re becoming anxious or uncertain about your ability to safely operate a vehicle. A specialist will assess your abilities and offer advice to help you drive more safely.
- Take a senior driving course. Today’s driving environment is vastly different from when you first got licensed. New laws and new technologies change the landscape. A course geared toward older drivers can help you safely navigate the roads.
- Upgrade your car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has identified several technology upgrades that reduce crashes for older drivers.
Drivers may consider the following upgrades to assist with safety:
- Rearview cameras that can help drivers see while backing up.
- Automatic emergency braking systems
- Collision warning systems.
- Blind spot and lane-departure warning systems that help drivers avoid crashes while changing lanes.
Extra awareness and caution can help keep everyone safe on the roads. However, even the safest drivers can be injured in a car accident. If you or a loved one are injured in an accident through no fault of your own, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Contact Anthem Injury Lawyers today at (702) 857-6000 to make an appointment for a free consultation.
Stay Safe on the Road
Drivers of all ages should practice safe driving. Stay safe on the roads and do the following:
- Always wear a seat belt.
- Drive when conditions are safest.
- Avoid drunk driving.
- Have an eye doctor check your eyes at least once a year.
- Drive during daylight.
- Avoid driving in bad weather.
- Plan your route before you drive.
- Leave a large following distance between your car and the car in front of you.
- Avoid distractions in your car.
- Do not talk or text while driving.
If you are uncomfortable or unable to drive for any reason, use an alternative. This includes riding with a friend, rideshare services, and public transportation. If you are involved in an accident that is not your fault, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers
Anthem Injury Lawyers is a team of experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyers and case managers based in Henderson, Nevada. We serve clients in a range of personal injury cases in the Las Vegas Valley. With over 25 years of experience, Anthem Injury Lawyers specializes in personal injury claims. Contact us today at (702) 857-6000 to make an appointment for a free consultation.
Please note: We are up to date on current legal challenges. This includes the latest events surrounding COVID-19. We will work aggressively to protect your rights and help you receive maximum compensation. We can even come to you, if needed, to provide your free car accident case consultation. Call us now: (702) 857-6000.