A common misconception about elderly drivers is that they drive safer than younger motorists because they tend to drive slower. However, that is not the case. As a person ages, their driving abilities are significantly reduced due to certain medical conditions they may develop. Elder drivers may experience decreased vision, impaired hearing, and slower motor reflexes. It is imperative for motorists, regardless of age, to properly and safely operate a motor vehicle on the road in order to prevent auto accidents and injuries. If you are injured in an auto accident that was caused by an elderly person, reach out to a qualified and skilled Prince George’s County Auto Accident Lawyer who can help you recover reasonable damages for your losses.
What are some common causes of elder driver accidents?
Unfortunately, older adults may have trouble controlling a vehicle as they have reduced strength. Additionally, older drivers have reduced motor skills which causes them to have decreased coordination and flexibility. With that being said, older drivers pose a threat on the road as their driving abilities are hindered. Nonetheless, regardless of age, auto accidents may occur for several reasons. However, the following are some of the most common causes of elderly driver accidents:
- Speeding or driving too slow
- Drifting into other lanes
- Not looking behind when backing up
- Not yielding properly
- Not stopping at stop signs
- Running red lights
- Driving the wrong way
- Not keeping a safe distance between cars
- Braking unexpectedly
- Driving at night (or whenever it is hard to see)
In certain cases, an older driver may take certain prescription medication that makes them impaired or drowsy which can cause serious vision impairment and motor skill issues.
Is it illegal to drive past a certain age?
Elderly drivers may have a hard time grasping the idea of not driving. When an elderly person stop driving they lose a sense of freedom and independence. Elderly individuals who do not drive must rely heavily on others. Elderly adults often do not want to burden their loved ones with this responsibility which may cause an elder adult to drive when they really shouldn’t be. Although there is no legal age at which an individual must stop driving, elder drivers should stop getting behind the wheel anywhere between 70 and 80 years old. At this age, individuals may develop medical conditions that negatively affect their driving abilities. In Maryland, drivers over the age of 40 are required to have their vision tested when renewing their license. Additionally, drivers aged 40 or older must renew their license every five years.
It is understandable to have mixed emotions about filing a claim against a negligent elder driver for an auto accident. However, regardless of age, motorists are responsible for abiding by the rules of the road in order to ensure everyone’s safety. If you have been hurt in an auto accident caused by an older driver, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our trusted team members. Allow our firm to advocate on your behalf.