Over the years, lawmakers have taken a plethora of measures to minimize the risk of car accidents involving elderly drivers. However, these measures have not proven themselves to be sufficiently effective, as elderly drivers are still at fault for thousands of car crashes in Philadelphia and all across Pennsylvania each year.
We are not trying to say that older drivers are more dangerous than younger drivers 100 percent of the time. “It’s just that statistics show that although older drivers tend to drive less than their younger counterparts, they are responsible for more motor vehicle collisions per mile,” explains a Philadelphia elderly driver accident attorney at The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C.
Why are elderly drivers more likely to cause car accidents?
Whether an elderly driver is at an unreasonable risk of causing a car accident depends on his or her health problems. Unfortunately, many older drivers continue driving even though they suffer from various medical conditions that negatively affect their ability to operate a vehicle safely and defensively. “These conditions include but are not limited to arthritis, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes complications, muscle weakness, and many more,” explains our experienced elderly driver accident attorney in Philadelphia.
Also, let’s not forget that senior citizens tend to take multiple medications to treat various of the above-mentioned medical conditions, though many do not realize that some of these medications can cause drowsiness, aggressive behavior, and many other complications that may lead to a motor vehicle accident.
More than 30 states impose additional requirements and restrictions that apply to drivers as they age. It does not mean that a driver’s license can be revoked based solely on age. These additional requirements include but are not limited to more frequent and more thorough vision testing, as well as the need to renew a driver’s license more frequently for aging drivers.
Elderly driver car accident in Philadelphia: How to recover damages?
If you or your loved ones have been injured in a car accident caused by an elderly driver, you may deserve to seek compensation through a personal injury claim, regardless of whether the other driver is 21, 51, 71, or 101. Sure, we should treat elderly drivers with respect and sympathy, but age does not limit a driver’s duty to exercise caution and operate a vehicle safely.
“At all ages, motorists should be aware of their medical status and any limitations, this is one of the elements of the duty that a driver owes to other motorists,” explains our Philadelphia elderly driver accident lawyer. “Acknowledging one’s lack of mental or physical capabilities to operate a vehicle in a safe manner is a crucial step that drivers need to make as they approach their retirement age.”
A senior driver who is not fully aware of his or her physical or mental limitations may not be aware of the risks that he or she can pose to other motorists on the road. Many elderly drivers are not aware that they suffer from a medical condition that delays their reaction times, negatively affects their judgement and decision-making abilities, causes cognitive impairment, diminishes their vision or hearing, and causes joint stiffness and difficulty moving.
If you notice an elderly driver on the road, these are the most tell-tale signs indicating that you should stay away from him or her:
- Driving too slowly;
- Ignoring traffic signs and lights;
- Stopping abruptly for no reason and then continuing to drive;
- Getting agitated or aggressive while driving;
- Getting drowsy or falling asleep while driving;
- Being unable to stay in the same lane or drive straight; and
- Swerving left and right.
Do not feel sorry or overly sympathetic for the elderly driver if you end up getting injured in a car crash caused by the older driver. An investigation may show that this driver should never have been allowed to drive in the first place, so your chance of recovering damages will probably go through the roof. Contact The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C., to schedule a free consultation and speak about your case. Call our offices at 215-543-7220 today.