What May Be Going On Behind the Wheel For Chicago’s Elderly Drivers

July 2, 2013

We’ve all passed them on the roadways, wondering whether it’s safe for them to be driving a car and whether they might be putting other drivers in danger. In many instances, those questions of concern—or even impatience—are unfounded. But in other circumstances, they are justifiable. The concern: elderly drivers on the road.

Recent statistics show that more than one out of every ten fatal car accidents involves a driver over the age of 65. As motorists continue to drive at older ages, there are numerous factors that contribute to senior driver-related car crashes.

Common Causes of Elderly Driver Car Accidents

Diminished Health

  • Vision and hearing are crucial components to safe driving. Visual cues allow drivers to see other motorists on the road, flying debris, and other objects in the road that could cause a dangerous Chicago car accident. Reduced hearing limits an elderly driver’s ability to hear horns, sirens, and other external noises that might warn of dangerous traffic conditions.
  • In addition, slower reaction times to sudden traffic changes, animal crossings, and a vehicle’s mechanical problems can appear as a senior’s cognitive brain functioning (reasoning and remembering) declines.

Wrong Vehicle Type for the Elderly

Elderly drivers should be driving vehicles that fit their physical and cognitive needs appropriately. Questions to be considered include:

  • Is the car too big or too small? Can the driver smoothly steer the car around turns? Can the driver see over the steering wheel while driving? The driver’s physical stature should be considered when choosing a car. Visibility can be reduced, creating unsafe blind spots for senior drivers.
  • Does the car offer appropriate space for drivers with infirmities? Older people who have had hip or knee replacements need special consideration. Those surgeries may require extra room for maneuverability in a vehicle. If a driver is uncomfortable in the car, it may cause distractions while driving.

When Illinois car accidents involving senior citizens occur, you may wonder what to do. After all, many of us want to show kindness and respect to the elderly. However, if you suffer catastrophic injuries from elderly drivers who shouldn’t be driving, you may have grounds to take legal action. Only an experienced Chicago vehicle accident attorney can help you understand the facts, learn your legal rights, and figure out what your next steps should be.

You can schedule a free consultation with a skilled Chicago car crash lawyer today by calling 1-312-332-1400, or by filling out the quick and easy online form.

Category: Traffic Accidents
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