Car Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers


In a single recent year, over 45 million licensed drivers were at least 65 years old in the United States. While driving helps provide elderly drivers with freedom and independence, the dangers of being seriously injured or worse in a car accident dramatically increase with age.

Older Drivers Face an Increased Risk of Suffering Deadly Crashes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 20 elderly adults suffer fatalities every day, and nearly 700 are injured in crashes. Drivers who are 75 and older have considerably higher crash fatality rates than middle-aged drivers. This can be primarily attributed to the heightened vulnerability of suffering serious injuries. As we reach advanced ages, various health conditions and disorders that can make driving problematic. Some health problems that might negatively impact seniors’ driving abilities include:

  1. Mobility Issues: As the body ages, physical changes like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, severe arthritis, complications due to diabetes, and muscle weakness can delay reaction times and hinder reflexes.
  2. Vision Problems: Age-related declines in eyesight due to glaucoma, macular degeneration, complications related to diabetes, and cataracts can make it difficult for many older drivers to see clearly.
  3. Diminished Mental Functioning: Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can significantly impact overall cognitive functioning, including the abilities to reason, focus, and remember.

Top Causes of Senior Car Crashes

Regardless of their age, all drivers have a legal obligation to exercise reasonable caution behind the wheel. Diminished driving capabilities become especially apparent during stressful or demanding driving maneuvers, such as merging, making a left-hand turn, or changing lanes. While younger motorists are more likely to cause collisions by driving recklessly or speeding, older drivers commonly cause accidents for other reasons, including:

  1. Accidentally running stop signs or red lights;
  2. Driving the wrong way or on the wrong side of the road;
  3. Going much slower than the speed limit;
  4. Miscalculating spaces or distances;
  5. Braking suddenly or unexpectedly;
  6. Failing to yield the right of way at intersections;
  7. Making improper left turns; and
  8. Having a hard time seeing clearly during the night, dawn, or other low light conditions.

Contact Buffalo, New York’s Finest Senior Car Accident Attorneys

The battle-tested car crash attorneys at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. are highly skilled personal injury litigators with decades of combined legal practice. Jed Dietrich, Esq., celebrated as an Attorney and Practice Magazine’s Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney, offers clients in Western New York extremely knowledgeable legal representation based on his extensive experience. Our elite team has helped thousands of injured victims and their families obtain essential monetary compensation for life-altering, catastrophic accidents. We can provide you with the representation necessary to hold a negligent driver liable for all of your damages. If you have been looking for the best personal injury lawyer to take your case, your search is over. Call us today at 716-839-3939 to find out how our seasoned lawyers can further assist you!

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