Auto wrecks involving seniors and elderly drivers happen all the time.
If you were injured, hire an experienced Georgia accident attorney immediately.
Car crashes involving older drivers are not only becoming an increasing concern throughout Atlanta and across the state of Georgia, but also nationwide. In the next 2 decades, there will be 72 million older adults in the United States over the age of 65. One out of every 4 licensed drivers will be an older driver. What concerns experts is that compared to middle-aged drivers, elderly drivers who are 75 or older have a higher driver death rate for every mile driven and are 3 times more likely to have a car crash than younger adults.
Even more alarming is that drivers who are 85 and older have a crash rate as high as teens and young adults. National researchers have found that drivers 75 years of age and older are responsible for 70-80 percent of deaths in car crashes involving 2 vehicles. Often, elderly drivers have other older passengers in their vehicles and if they are harmed in a crash, their injuries are generally more severe.
If you were injured in a crash caused by an elderly driver — or if you are a senior who was seriously hurt in a crash — our Atlanta auto accident lawyers can help you explore your best options for financial recovery. We have the knowledge, skill and expertise to help families through complicated medical and legal issues.
Generally speaking, the age of 65 is when a person is considered “elderly” or “senior” in the U.S. This age is somewhat arbitrary and not based on scientific reasoning, but rather is simply the age defined by most Western countries as when a person can start receiving senior benefits. In the U.S., you can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits at age 62.
Why contact our car accident lawyer in Atlanta, GA?
For over 20 years, Scholle Law has helped injured victims and their families manage the difficult process of securing financial recovery from an accident and injuries caused by others. We help families secure their legal rights and proper medical attention when they most need support. We can guide you through the legal process step-by-step after an elderly driver car crash.
Attorney Charles Scholle and his team of lawyers and legal professionals regularly represent senior clients as well as clients who have been injured by older drivers.
In the event of a car crash involving a senior, it’s very important to secure the guidance of a legal expert who has the ability to handle the particular issues and injuries involved with older drivers, passengers and victims.
Contact us to speak with a lawyer about your accident.We’re available 24/7 and your first consultation is free.
Call 866-972-5287 or send us a message online
Georgia laws regarding elderly drivers
All across the country, there is much debate about whether older drivers should be tested on a yearly basis or have their license revoked. The argument is often about at what age does one begin testing the elderly – 65, 75, 85? Cognitive and physical acuity changes differently from person to person, so there’s no solid consensus on exactly when a person should be tested.
Nevertheless, Georgia has implemented clearcut laws for seniors and older drivers, which are enforced by the Department of Driver Services (DDS). Drivers of all ages must meet certain requirements, but the state has enacted special provisions and rules for elderly drivers:
- Drivers who are 60 years old or older are required to renew their license in person every 5 years. (Younger drivers can renew every 8 years.)
- Drivers who are 64 years old or older are required to take a vision test when renewing their license. (Written and road tests may also be administered, but are only required if there are indications of driver impairment.)
- Doctors, family members and others may request unsafe driver investigations from DDS.
In addition, DDS may also impose special restrictions on an older driver who they believe to be a danger to others in certain scenarios. These restrictions can include:
- Not allowing expressway or interstate driving
- Installing additional outside mirrors on a senior’s vehicle
- No nighttime driving
- No passengers allowed in the vehicle
- Driver must wear bioptic lenses (glasses) and/or a hearing aid when driving
- Only vehicles with automatic transmissions, power steering and power brakes may be driven
If you have a family member who is an older driver, it’s very important to determine their competency to continue driving. Make a habit to ride with them and check the condition of their vehicle. If you see unexplained damage to the vehicle of an elderly driver, that may reveal an issue with their ability to drive safely. Make sure their driver’s license is current, and if it isn’t, then take them to renew it.
Senior driving facts and statistics
- By 2030, an estimated 70 million Americans will be over the age of 65 — up to 90 percent of whom will be licensed to drive.
- There are currently more than 1 million drivers over the age of 65 in Georgia.
- Over 5,700 elderly drivers were killed in 2014, and 221,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes.
- Each day in the U.S., approximately 20 older adults are killed in traffic crashes, and an additional 700 are injured.
- An estimated 80 percent of people in their 70s suffer from arthritis and joint inflammation, which can make turning and twisting painful. This limited range of motion, in addition to weaker muscles and reduced flexibility, often restricts an elderly driver’s ability to see and avoid dangers.
- More than 3 in 4 drivers age 65 or older take at least 1 medication, but only 1 in 3 senior drivers believes that the medication might impact their driving performance.
- Elderly drivers are 17 times more likely to be killed in a car crash compared to drivers under the age of 65.
- A person’s risk of a fatal crash begins to increase at age 75, and rises sharply after 80. This is primarily due to an increase of medical complications and risk of injury.
- Men have substantially higher traffic death rates than women, regardless of age.
Common causes of elderly driver car accidents
One of the main reasons why elderly drivers are involved in a greater number of crashes is that our reflexes naturally slow down with age. As we age, science shows that we aren’t able to move or react as quickly as we could when we were young. This decline in mental and physical acuity can be a contributing factor to a crash.
Another common factor in collisions involving elderly drivers is the person’s overall health. It’s not uncommon to read about an older driver (or any driver, for that matter) who experiences a medical emergency while driving. When this happens, sometimes the driver loses control of their vehicle and crashes into another car or truck. The causes of these types of medical emergencies can include a stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, loss of consciousness or any other debilitating condition. It’s important to talk with doctors and physicians to determine if a person is at a higher risk of being involved in a crash due to poor health or a medical condition.
Other leading causes of crashes involving senior drivers include:
- Medication side effects
- Nighttime driving
- Loss of vision and hearing
- Misjudging distances
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs
- Loss of flexibility
- Memory loss
- Overcaution (i.e. driving too slowly, braking suddenly, etc.)
Common elderly driver car crash injuries
Seniors are generally considered safe drivers compared to teens and other age groups since many elderly drivers reduce their risk of injury by wearing seatbelts, obeying the speed limit and avoiding nighttime driving. But older drivers are more likely to be seriously hurt or even killed in the event of a collision. This is due, in part, to their more fragile bones and body condition. In addition, certain medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease can make it harder for seniors to recover after a crash.
Common serious injuries elderly drivers suffer in a wreck include:
- Broken bones
- Head and brain trauma (TBI)
- Neck and back injuries (whiplash)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Muscle strains
- Internal injuries (organ damage, bleeding, etc.)
While many of these types of injuries are consistent across all age groups, the amount of medical treatment required to help injured elderly drivers recover after a crash (if they ever can) is often significantly more intensive and long-term. As a result, the medical costs and expenses related to such collision injuries may be higher than average.
Contact Atlanta’s auto accident lawyers
Our Duluth-based auto injury attorneys can guide victims and their families through the medical and legal issues involved in elderly driver crashes. As experienced personal injury lawyers and legal professionals, Scholle Law has the expertise needed to gather important evidence and seek recovery for personal injuries that result from motor vehicle accidents.
For over 2 decades, we’ve helped injured victims and their families manage the difficult recovery from accidents and injury caused by others. We support families to secure their legal rights and the proper medical attention at times when they need that support most. If you have a loved one who was hurt in a crash involving an elderly driver, we are here to help.