Most elderly people are law-abiding, safe drivers. However, a surge of accidents caused by elderly drivers has raised fears as to the risk drivers over the age of 65 could pose to others. In the future, the number of elderly drivers will increase, making the issue all the more urgent. In a study released by the Rand Corporation, it is estimated that by 2025, elderly people will comprise 25 percent of the driving population, which represents a significant increase from the past decade.
Elderly Drivers are More Likely to Be Involved in Accidents
According to the Rand study, drivers 65 and older are 16 percent more likely to be involved in an accident than non-elderly adult drivers, but they are less likely to be involved in an accident than young Americans under the age of 25. However, older drivers are also more likely to be fatally injured in a crash.
One cause of accidents among the elderly is pedal errors. Pedal errors are defined as mistakes made pushing the gas or brakes, leading to an accident. Pedal accidents are most likely to occur in elderly women and could be the result of confusion or poor reflexes that are associated with advanced age.
Georgia’s Laws Concerning the Elderly
Georgia, like many states, has taken steps to ensure elderly people who are no longer safe behind the wheel cannot legally drive. The state allows residents over the age of 59 to obtain a short, five year driver’s license. Residents aged 64 and older must successfully complete an in-person vision screening for each renewal period. If the driver cannot meet the vision screening, he or she must meet with a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. Additionally, concerned relatives or physicians could notify the Department of Driver Services, which will investigate the senior’s ability to safely retain their license. The driver will need to complete a reexamination of his or her driving skills, which could include a written, vision, or driving.
Some concerned safety organizations believe laws should be tightened even further to require elderly drivers complete more than just an eye test every few years. As the population continues to age, it is possible that additional laws and restrictions will be passed across the country.
Anyone injured in an accident with an elderly driver should contact an auto accident attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will investigate the crash and take the necessary steps to protect your rights.
Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Experienced and Dedicated Automobile Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in a car accident with an elderly driver, contact the Georgia Car Accident Lawyers at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. Our firm is dedicated to assisting those injured in all manner of traffic accidents across Georgia and in the Southeast and we bring over 39 years of experience to your personal injury case. The sooner you act after your injury, the greater your chances of obtaining a full recovery. As such, it is important that you seek the assistance of a licensed lawyer as soon as possible. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.