The risks of driving as an older adult

Washington drivers who are 65 or older may not be aware of the increased risks that occur as they age. While drivers who continue to operate vehicles as they age are more likely to be more independent and stay mobile, the risks of injuries or death also increase. On average, more than 580 older adult drivers suffer injuries while 15 older drivers die in car accidents every day. In 2012, this amounted to more than 214,000 older drivers being injured and more than 5,500 being killed.

Increased car accident rates among drivers who are at least 70 years of age are associated with the loss of vision and a decline in cognitive functioning, including the individual’s memory and reasoning skills. Additionally, older individuals are more susceptible to injuries and complications from medical treatment.

Although there are major risks, there are ways that older drivers can reduce the risks of injury or death caused by car accidents. For example, older drivers should ask their doctor or health care provider about any medications they are taking to ensure that there are no dangerous side effects. Drivers should also have their vision checked and should wear their glasses or contacts as advised. Additionally, older drivers should avoid driving during bad weather.

Auto injury victims often face expensive medical care costs, lost income if they cannot return to work and other associated damages. If it was found that another driver was responsible for causing the car accident, the injured person may want to obtain the assistance of a personal injury attorney in seeking compensation for the damages that were sustained.