Elderly Drivers’ Heighted Risks for Carolina Traffic Accidents

In 2011, there were more than 5,400 people over the age of 64 who were killed in car accidents across the U.S. According to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly 300 of them were killed in North Carolina traffic collisions.

This is a serious problem, especially as the baby boomer generation ages, because these elderly drivers face serious obstacles behind the wheel that make it tougher and more dangerous to drive.
Although the elderly population accounts for roughly 13 percent of our nation’s residents, they accounted for more than 17 percent of the people who were killed in traffic accidents throughout the year. This is a number that’s down about 2 percent from the year before, but it’s a statistic that’s expected to rise. In the next few years, our elderly population will hit a boom. With more of these drivers on our roadways, we can expect more accidents.

Our Charlotte car accident lawyers understand that these elderly accidents are most likely to happen when the roadways are busiest. Throughout the year, more than 75 percent of them happened during daylight hours while roughly 70 percent happened on the weekdays. And they’re endangering everyone out there, with more than 65 percent of the accidents involving other vehicles.

We’re not here to point fingers though, we’re here to help. In the state of North Carolina, drivers are required to renew their license once every 5 years once they reach the age of 54, according to Caring.com. Usually, a driver only has to renew every 8 years.

These drivers are also required to pass a vision and a traffic sign test for renewal. They also have to get their vision tested. They must have 20/40 or better for unrestricted; 20/70 better eye with restrictions. Bioptic telescopes are not permitted for meeting acuity standard, but are permitted for driving. If you’re over the age of 60, you’re exempt from the parallel parking test.

Aging affects each of us differently and when chronic illnesses are also present; there can be a decline in physical and cognitive abilities. It’s through no fault of their own, but it’s important that were stepping in to make sure that everything’s running smoothly and they’re not at undue risks out there.

Take a look at the elderly members of your family. Are they safe to be out there behind the wheel? Can they see? Are there unexplained dents in their vehicle? Do they seem anxious when driving? Do they take alternative routes to avoid major highways? Are they abiding by lights and road signs? Are they driving too fast or too slow?

If the answers to any of these questions don’t pass muster, it might be time to talk with your loved ones about giving up their keys. It’s not about taking away their freedom and their independence, but it’s about making sure that they’re around longer to enjoy it.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, contact the Charlotte injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

Officers Increase Saturation Efforts to Curb Carolina Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, April 23, 2013

Cell Phone Use Blamed in Fatal Ashville Traffic Collision, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, April 17, 2013

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