Safety Concerns Mount for Senior Drivers – And Those Who Share the Road With Them
As personal injury attorneys in New Jersey, we’re well aware of the dangers of impaired driving. But did you ever stop to think that impairment may not always involve alcohol, drugs or texting and that, in fact, the face of impairment might just as easily be that of a sweet, elderly grandparent whose failing eyesight, slower reaction time and occasional bouts of confusion can be every bit as dangerous?
More than one in five fatal accidents in New Jersey involves at least one driver over 65 years of age, according to a 2012 study by TRIP, a national transportation research group, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
So when should seniors give up the keys? The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published a few warning signs that can indicate diminished capacity for safe driving, including:
- Experiencing a series of minor accidents or near misses
- Wandering thoughts or inability to concentrate
- Trouble reading ordinary road signs
- Getting lost on familiar roads
AAA says that other drivers honking at elderly drivers is another warning sign, but that might be hard to distinguish for New Jersey drivers!
More than a million New Jersey drivers are over 65, and as our bodies grow more fragile, physical injuries from a collision are three times more likely to be fatal. While it’s not easy to sacrifice independence and convenience at any age, it’s certainly not worth risking innocent lives. If you’ve suffered because of an impaired driver, contact a personal injury attorney who can protect your rights and help you get a dangerous driver off the road.