Car Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers

Modern medicine is a wonderful thing. Countless people live for more than a century, as many diseases and conditions that used to lead to earlier deaths have been eradicated or have been made treatable by our advanced medical technology.

While living longer is undoubtedly a good thing, we also are finding that the further we get in life, the harder many of the tasks we take for granted become. As humans age, their reflexes slow down and they lose the ability to react and move quickly. Furthermore, old age leads to vision and hearing problems. These deficiencies can lead to serious problems when an elderly person gets behind the wheel of a car.

A Growing Problem

It has become increasingly common to see a news story about an elderly driver plowing into a group of pedestrians or running into other drivers. For example, there was the 2003 case of an 86-year-old man, who drove his car through a farmer’s market in Santa Monica, killing 10 people and injuring 70 others. Additionally, in 2012, a 100-year-old man backed his Cadillac onto a sidewalk in Los Angeles, injuring 11 people, nine of whom were elementary school children.

The “Baby Boomers” have begun reaching the age of retirement, and the children they had will one day reach that age as well. This means that over the next 20 years, the number of drivers who are 70 years of age or older is expected to triple. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that in 15 years, there will be 9.6 million people age 85 and older. Road safety analysts predict that by 2030, when all baby boomers are at least 65, they will be responsible for 25% of all fatal crashes.

The fact is that with more and more drivers reaching their latter years, there is an increased likelihood that you or someone you know could be in a car accident involving an elderly driver. This could potentially be a serious road hazard, as an NHTSA study found that on the basis of estimated annual travel, the fatality rate for drivers 85 and over is nine times as high as the rate for drivers 25 through 69 years old.

No Age Limit on Driving

While California does have a minimum required age that a person must reach before he or she is allowed to have a driver’s license, there is no equivalent at the other end of life. In fact, California Vehicle Code section 12814 forbids selective testing based solely on a person’s age. This means that age alone cannot be the reason that an elderly driver has his or her driving privileges suspended or revoked. However, California does require that a person age 70 or older, who has been involved in two or more accidents in a single year, take a driving test in order to keep their license.

Contact Jamal Injury Law For Help With Your Case

As drivers, we have a shared responsibility to make sure that we do not endanger each other on the roads, and with an ever-increasing population of older drivers, we have to be more vigilant when we drive. Despite your best efforts, and despite the best intentions of the other driver, someday you may find yourself as the victim of a car accident caused by an elderly driver. If you are injured in this type of accident, you deserve knowledgeable and caring legal representation that can help you recover fair compensation.

To contact Jamal Injury Law for a free case evaluation from an experienced car accident attorney, please call 714-907-1021. You can also complete our “Contact Form” and an attorney from our office will contact you directly.