Have You Been Injured in an Accident?
The population in Illinois is aging. Soon, there will be the largest number of elderly Americans in the history of the country. With an aging population comes an aging driving population and with that, certain risks.
Older drivers begin to experience a decrease in some of their mental and physical abilities. This may affect their ability to drive. In addition, older drivers are more likely to be injured or killed in an accident when compared to younger drivers. This is because aging makes older drivers more susceptible to injury.
In 2017, there were 44 million licensed drivers age 65 and older in the United States, according to the CDC. Of these drivers, there were approximately 7,700 fatalities and 257,000 injuries from automobile collisions.
Older drivers may experience:
- Vision problems
- Decreases in hearing abilities
- Slower reaction time
- Other medical problems
All of the above may affect their ability to drive. In addition, older drivers tend to be on prescription medications, some of which can comprise driving skills.
What Can Older Adults Do to Avoid Accidents?
Despite some of the common negative beliefs about elderly drivers, statistics show that there are some areas where these drivers exercise safe driving more than the general population. Continuing to focus on safety and greater efforts to limit high-risk behaviors while driving will help to reduce auto accidents involving seniors.
The Elderly Have Safer Driving Habits
- Currently, seat belt use among elderly drivers is approximately 77 percent. This is substantially higher than the 63 percent seat belt use the Centers for Disease Control reports among adult drivers ages 18 to 64.
- Additionally, older drives are less likely to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. Therefore, they are less likely to cause this type of collision than their younger counterparts. Only 5 percent of elderly drivers involved in fatal collisions were legally under the influence. Meanwhile, 25 percent of younger drivers killed in accidents were legally under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Elderly drivers also tend to drive only in optimal conditions. Because of this, they are less likely to be in crashes during a rain or snow storm, or late at night. Experts also recommend that elderly only drive when necessary.
Older drivers should ask their pharmacists to make sure no medications will limit their ability to drive safely. Further, they should also have their eyes checked regularly for changes in vision as well as degenerative diseases.
It is also a good idea for elderly drivers to exercise and eat well if possible, to prevent or limit injuries in the event of a crash. Studies have shown that older drivers who are healthier and in better shape at the time of an accident are less likely to suffer serious injuries than those in poor health. In other words, drivers who take care of themselves physically will be less likely to die in a crash.
What If an Elderly Driver Caused My Car Accident?
If an elderly driver causes an accident that results in injuries to you, Illinois law protects you. An accident victim can make a claim for damages against the at-fault driver and the driver’s insurance company. These claims can encompass medical bills, lost wages, and any other expenses as a result of the accident.
Insurance companies are challenging to work with. Further, some may even deny a valid claim in an effort to escape liability.
Often this is because insurance companies have an unfair advantage when dealing with an individual without a lawyer. That accident victim may be desperate to pay bills and is often unaware of the true value of his or her injury.
Once a claim is settled, generally there is no opportunity to receive additional payment in the future. Unfortunately, you can only settle your case once. That’s why it is crucial you have an elderly accident attorney in Chicago on your side. He or she will represent your interests in the process of a financial recovery.
Legal Help is Available After an Auto Accident
The lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. have experience on their side. We regularly help numerous accident victims recover against those that harmed them. This includes those who have injuries due to the negligence of elderly drivers. We know the law and we know how to get results.
We believe that every victim deserves a free case consultation to learn about what legal options are available. Call a Chicago elderly car accident lawyer at (312) 924-7575. If you have been hurt, do not let yourself continue to be a victim of your accident. Call us today and let us help you towards a financial recovery.
If you suffer an injury in an accident with an elderly driver, call us today at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or Contact Us online for a free consultation.