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senior_drivers.jpgMost of us have older relatives with whom we have been close for all of our lives. We have admired them for as long as we can remember and we can look back on countless experiences with them that have added value to our lives. Given the love that we feel for our older family members, it can be difficult to recognize the signs of aging. When those signs of aging become too obvious to miss, we are often troubled with the reality that, like everyone else, he or she is getting older and is not able to do all of the things that most of us took for granted.

While there are many examples of how aging affects people, one of the most dangerous involves the way in which they drive. As we get older, our reaction time slows down, our vision can wane and even our judgment can suffer. When these diminishing qualities are applied to our driving, it can and often does invite danger that was never present in the past. Every trip to the store or to the gas station can be one that leads to a crash and to serious injuries, whether those injuries are suffered by the older driver or by someone else.

 

Recently, an article appeared in the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Indiana that took a close look at the serious question involving when it could be time to take away the keys from an older relative who has become dangerous behind the wheel. A link to the full article can be found here. While the article delves into the decision and what could be required in order to successfully talk someone out of driving a vehicle, it also included some starting statistics.

The first statistic that stood out came from the Federal Highway Administration, which stated that as of 2009, 33 million licensed drivers in the United States were at least 65 years old. That number is expected to continue to rise in the coming years as the population collectively ages. In addition, some statistics from TRIP, a transportation research group, were also provided. Those statistics included:

  • 5,750 fatalities resulted from crashes in the United States in 2010 that involved at least one driver who was at least 65 years old.
  • That year, drivers who were 65 or older accounted for eight percent of the miles driven in the United States.
  • 17 percent of all traffic fatalities resulted from crashes involving at least one driver who was 65 years old or older.
  • Approximately 20 percent of all licensed drivers in the United States will be at least 65 years old by the year 2025.

This seems to be a problem that could get worse in the coming years. If you are concerned about the safety of an older relative behind the wheel, trust your instincts and do what needs to be done to both protect that person and to help minimize the chance that a disastrous crash will occur. If you or someone you love has been wrongfully injured in a collision, contact the Las Vegas accident lawyers at the Sam Harding Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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