Arizona's population has been growing in all age groups in the last few decades with hundreds of thousands relocating to the Valley and surrounding areas. Communities have been cropping up in once desolate areas with significant construction occurring in almost every town. Schools and daycare centers make it easy to see the growth among children in the area but you may have to look a little harder to appreciate and understand the increased population among older Americans in these neighborhoods.
This elderly population is an important part of our community, but as we age, it can create significant dangers on the roads. Learn more about how to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road with the help of our experienced Phoenix auto accident attorneys.
The Baby Boomer Generation Reaches the Third Age
The fact is that across the country, the Baby Boomers are aging and are retiring. They are relocating to warmer weather climates and they are preparing for life in their golden years. Many of these individuals are still living independently and are driving themselves to and from places in the Phoenix area.
Older drivers often display greater patience while on the roads than some of their younger counterparts. They may be less likely to speed and less likely to cut off other motorists in an attempt to merge or change lanes. Some elderly drivers possess excellent skills while operating their vehicles and pose little threat to others on the road.
How Aging Impacts Driving Safety Skills
But as our citizens age, their mental faculties decrease. Their eyesight may worsen and their ability to hear may be impaired. The elderly's ability to make quick decisions may also be depressed by slower thinking and processing. They may become confused about what they are doing or where they are going. Older drivers who are suffering from some of these common aging problems can pose a serious threat to themselves and to other drivers on the road.
While some elders decide to use public transportation as a means of getting around, still others choose to keep their independence by driving themselves to the grocery store, doctor’s appointments, or to relative’s houses for visits. For many seniors, keeping their independence is very important to them and means a better quality of life.
Safety Tips for Senior Drivers
So what can seniors do to keep themselves and others safe on the road?
For one, it is critical that seniors always drive while wearing their prescription glasses if they are prescribed any. Since visibility is important, it’s best for aging citizens to avoid nighttime driving whenever possible.
Furthermore, if it’s possible, seniors should avoid driving during rush hour traffic as this poses the highest risk for an accident since drivers tend to drive more aggressively during this period and, of course, their is simply more cars and more opportunities for accidents.
Elderly Drivers as Car Accident Victims
Just like those in other age groups, elderly drivers and passengers can be the innocent victims of car accidents. They may simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time when an impaired driver is on the road or when a speeding motorist runs a red light.
But unlike younger drivers, elderly car accident victims are more likely to be injured or killed in an accident. They fare worse in collisions than those younger than them for many reasons, including prior existing medical conditions, weaker bones, and poorer physical condition before a crash.
Some elderly motorists do not have cell phones which can limit their ability to call for and receive immediate medical assistance after a crash. But regardless of these factors, if the negligence of another causes an elderly motorist to become injured, that victim may be entitled to financial relief.
Elderly Drivers At-Fault for Collisions
Older drivers are responsible for a significant number of car accidents in the greater Phoenix area. Often, these collisions are caused by age-related conditions present in the drivers. Every year, hundreds of accidents occur with elderly drivers at-fault and displaying signs of confusion or uncertainty as to the accident itself. In many cases, these older drivers should not be driving a car at all.
The most common ways in which elderly drivers cause collisions is by ignoring or misunderstanding the rules of the road. Older drivers may fail to notice posted traffic signs requiring one-way driving only and they may drive the wrong way down a street or alley.
They may fail to see that their traffic light remains red even though drivers in the next lane have a green turn arrow, causing them to enter an intersection against traffic and cause a collision. Or they may forget to check their blind spots before entering a busy highway, potentially causing a side impact crash.
Whatever factors lead to a crash, if the incident is the result of an elderly driver, that driver may face traffic or criminal charges for his or her actions. Even if a citation is not issued by a police officer, though, the victim of an elderly accident can seek proper compensation against the responsible driver and/or the driver's insurance company. Speaking with an injury lawyer is the best way to learn about what legal options are available to you after a car accident.
Car Accidents Lawyers in Phoenix
If you have been involved in a Phoenix car accident or an accident elsewhere in Arizona, the lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. are standing by now to provide you with a free case consultation. There is no obligation on your part for speaking with us about your accident and we keep a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day to take your call.
We understand that every accident can cause devastation throughout an entire family and that is why we believe that every accident victim deserves proper and adequate compensation for his or her injuries. It is also why we only represent accident victims and we never represent those who cause a collision.
If an accident has left you hurt or has claimed the life of your loved one, call us today at (855) 749-5299 and let us help you get the relief you deserve. Do not let your family continue to suffer from the negligence of an elderly driver.
714 E Rose Ln
Phoenix, AZ 85014