In Florida, a state with a high percentage of elderly residents, the debate about elderly drivers has been a long-standing discussion. There are some studies that suggest that older drivers are not at greater risk of car accidents than younger drivers. However, there are also studies such as the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study and the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, which found that between 1999 and 2004, the rates in car accidents for seniors ages 75 to 84 is about the same as for younger teen drivers. The studies found that for drivers who are over 85, the death rate is about four times higher than it is for teen drivers.
The US Census Bureau predicts that by 2030, there will be 9.6 million residents in the US who are 85 years of age or older, meaning more elderly drivers on the road. This has raised concerns about the dangers for drivers and pedestrians. According to experts, there are many risks for elderly drivers when it comes to Coral Springs traffic accidents. For example, dementia and a number of other age-related illnesses are often slow to be recognized, yet can cause problems with cognition and driving skills even before diagnosed. As well, elderly drivers may have vision problems which have not yet been diagnosed or treated but which may be serious enough to cause Coral Springs car accidents.
There have been a number of suggestions made about ways to reduce car accident rates among elderly drivers:
1) Improve transportation options to reduce car dependency. One of the reasons many elderly drivers are reluctant to give up their driving privileges is because they worry that doing so will reduce their independence. Offering a number of transportation options, including shuttle services and other low-cost options, can help make it easier for the elderly to get around without having to rely on their cars.
2) Create legislation that would make it mandatory for seniors to renew their licenses in person. According to a 1995 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, this is the only method that has been scientifically tested and found to reduce fatal car accidents among seniors.
3) Mandate more frequent health and eye checks for senior drivers. While this proposal has been suggested, it has raised quite a bit of controversy. Of course, adults at any age can develop eye problems and health conditions which can make it dangerous for them to drive. Some people claim that asking only senior drivers to get eye checks and health checks for driving privileges is discriminatory. Others, however, argue that since the elderly are more susceptible to health related problems that can affect their driving ability, such tests could reduce the number of Coral Springs pedestrian accidents and traffic accidents.
4) Mandate regular road tests for elderly drivers. Some legislators have proposed instituting regular, even yearly, road tests for senior drivers. Again, this is controversial because it suggests that drivers of certain age groups are more dangerous than drivers of other age groups. Nevertheless, some experts have suggested that such regular testing would help reduce the number of Coral Springs traffic accidents.
5) Improve communication between health care providers and the DMV. In many cases, healthcare providers are the first to realize that a person has a serious condition which could potentially affect their driving abilities. Some have suggested that better communication between healthcare providers, occupational therapists, and others would help improve safety for all drivers, including senior drivers.
If you have been injured in a Coral Springs car accident, contact The Flaxman Law Group to arrange for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your case with a Coral Springs personal injury attorney. Learn about the laws that affect you, determine how much of cases worth, and explore all your options before making a decision in your case.