Facing our own mortality takes maturity and understanding. There comes a time in life when we are no longer as fast as we once were, unable to jump as high as we once could, and no longer able to see without the assistance of glasses. As we reach old age, various parts of us no longer work as well as they once did. This is a huge safety concern for the motoring public.
Pride prevents us from being able to say to ourselves: “You know what, maybe it has become unsafe to be behind the wheel of my car”. Instead, we say to ourselves: “I am fine, I have been driving my whole life”. According to the Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation, in 2009 there were approximately 33 million licensed drivers age 65 or older in the United States. Of these drivers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that on an average day in the U.S., 15 older drivers are killed and 500 injured in motor vehicle crashes. These statistics demand that older drivers constantly evaluate whether they are capable of safely operating a motor vehicle.
It is also important to point out that older drivers are at an increased risk of injury due to their susceptibility of injury. As we age, our body slowly breaks down from the normal wear and tear of life, making us more prone to medical complications and risk of injury. What a teenager might shake off, a 65 year old may require hospitalization following the same injury or fall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that “per mile traveled, fatal crash rates increase starting at age 75 and increase notably after age 80″. It is a fact of life that we all reach a point where it is no longer safe for us to operate a motor vehicle. This is not something we must fear, anymore than a baseball player facing retirement. However, we must all be honest with ourselves for the safety of other drivers. It is not fair for an older driver to unnecessarily place other drivers at an increased risk of harm.
If you have been injured by an elder driver, you are entitled to the full reimbursement for your harms and losses. We all have a spot in our hearts for a grandparent figure, however, it is often the case that drivers are well aware of the warning signs of their decreased driving abilities and drive anyway. Drivers who consciously chose to disregard the safety of the motoring public are placing the lives of innocent drivers at risk. A Missouri car crash lawyer will assist in your recovery process if you have been injured as the result of a negligent older driver. Please contact personal injury attorney Chris Dixon at 314.409.7060 to discuss your case.