Articles Posted in Elderly Drivers

Many elderly drivers are completely safe behind the wheel and are able to maintain their independence and drive safely for many years. In fact, some researchers argue that older drivers are safer than younger drivers because they take fewer risks, are statistically less likely to drink and drive, and may speed less often.


Unfortunately, not all older drivers are safe on the road. As we get older, certain age-related conditions can affect our ability to drive. For example, macular degeneration and other vision problems can come with age and can affect the ability to see correctly enough to drive. In addition, cognitive skills may decline, especially with conditions such as dementia. Mobility issues can also be affected by age-related arthritis, osteoporosis, and other conditions. Even heart conditions can affect driving ability, especially if they put the driver risk of heart attacks. In addition, there are medications that some elderly Hollywood and Florida residents use for various conditions may make them dizzy, confused, or may otherwise affect their driving ability.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, senior citizens across the country account for 17% of fatal pedestrian accidents and 14% of all traffic accident deaths, even though they amount to only 9% of the population. While some claim that elderly drivers are unsafe on the roads, though, many studies show that drivers under the age of 85 are in fact safer than teen drivers. However, according to Carnegie Mellon University researchers and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers 85 and over have four times the fatal accident rate of teen drivers.

The issue, most experts agree, is not age but rather cognitive function and physical ability. The problem is that all drivers age differently. Some may remain sharp and physically active well into their 80s and beyond – including staying safer behind the wheel – while other motorists may start to experience dementia and other dangerous conditions well before their 70th birthday. It becomes a huge challenge for law enforcement and legislators to find a way to prevent car accidents in Miami and other cities by keeping unsafe drivers off the road while not limiting the freedoms of safe drivers.


In some cases, the decision to limit or take away one’s ability to drive is highly fraught. Families may want to prevent a loved one from being in a serious car or truck accident in Miami but may not be sure when to act. Or, they may not want to argue with a loved one and may hope that doctors or law enforcement make the decision about driving safety.

A big problem for families is that it is not just about driving and about preventing traffic accidents in Miami and Florida. It is about independence. Elderly loved ones who can no longer drive may have a harder time getting around and taking care of everyday tasks such as grocery shopping. They may face more isolation and a declining quality of life, which medical experts agree leads to declines in mental and physical health.

According to safety experts, there are a number of warning signs that families may need to step in and discuss hanging up the keys of an elderly driver:

•Signs of minor accidents, such as scrapes or dings on the car or an elderly loved one’s property
•Instances where an elderly driver has gotten lost, even in places they know
•Vision difficulties that make it hard to see the road signs, the road, and other vehicles
•A number of near-misses or minor accidents
•Difficulty estimating gaps in traffic at exit ramps and at intersections
•An elderly loved one getting confused while driving or experiencing road rage, causing aggressive driving or honking from other motorists
•Slow response times
•Difficulty using the gas and brake pedals – confusing the two, for example, or having a difficult time moving from one to the other
•Problems focusing on driving
•An elderly loved one getting multiple warnings or tickets from law enforcement
•Difficulty physically moving around to check blind spots
Of course, everyone has a bad experience driving or some difficulty once in a while, but if you notice one or more of these signs in yourself or a loved one, consider limiting driving and visiting a doctor and a driver-improvement or driving rehabilitation class. A doctor can help determine whether there are health barriers to safe driving while a qualified driver rehabilitation course can help a motorist drive more safely even with physical challenges.

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A new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), based on 50 years of accident information, reveals that different age groups have different chances of surviving a car accident. If you are in a car accident in Miami or anywhere in Florida, these numbers could be significant:

•Female motorists between the ages of 21 to 30 have a 29.2 percent higher risk of being killed in a car accident than male motorists in the same age group involved in similar accidents.
•By age 70, women and men have the same risk of sustaining fatal injuries in a car collision.
•Female motorists between the ages of 65 and 74 have a 1.4 percent lower risk of being killed in a car collision when compared with male motorists in the same age group involved in similar accidents.
•The overall risk of female passengers and drivers being killed in a car accident in 17% higher when compared with male passengers and drivers in the same accident.
•The overall risk of being killed in a car accident increases with age. A 75-year-old male driver or passenger is four times more likely to die in a car accident when compared with a 21-year-old female in the same type of collision. A 75-year-old male driver or passenger is five times more likely to die in a car accident when compared with a 21-year-old male in the same accident.
•Between 1995 and 2002, the risk of sustaining fatalities in a car accident for all age groups decreased 42%.

According to the NHTSA, the numbers can be explained by physical differences over time and between men and women. Younger women, for example, are smaller than men, generally, of the same age. In a car accident, this can mean that women are more likely to be thrown from the car and more likely to sustain life-threatening head injuries in Miami or their community. For older drivers, female drivers and passengers have a slightly lower fatality rate, according to the NHTSA, because women in their later years tend to be healthier, on average, than their male counterparts. Across all age groups, car accident fatalities have declined in part due to more universal seat belt use and car safety improvements.

Of course, age alone does not determine one’s ability to survive a traffic accident in Miami or any community. There are many things that individuals can do at any age to increase their chances of surviving a car or truck accident in Miami or their community. For example, wearing a seat belt and getting proper driver training can reduce the risk of serious injury. Following the rules of the road and driving carefully can also reduce the risk of being in a car collision in the first place. Motorists at all age groups can also take care of their physical fitness and their health to improve their chances of surviving an accident.

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This past month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted an online request seeking comments about a rating system for older customers. The suggested “Silver Car Rating System for Older Occupants” would be part of the NHTSA New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and would help older customers look at safety information about new cars. The rating system would address issues of car performance that are not evaluated by the NCAP under current guidelines – issues that could affect older drivers and passengers.

The NHTSA asked the public whether there “Are there aspects of vehicle performance, currently not evaluated by NCAP that would particularly address the needs of older vehicle occupants?” Depending on the responses received, the NHTSA may change their NCAP system to address the needs of older car buyers.

The AARP reports that 16% of drivers on the country’s roads are 65 or older and by 2025 one in five drivers in the US will fall into that age category. Currently, elderly drivers have the highest fatality rates in car accidents.
Experts agree that seniors may face a number of issues that specific issues that could be addressed by specific car features:

1) Adjustable gas and brake pedals and telescoping steering columns are useful for drivers who are shorter or have mobility issues. Mobility issues among elderly drivers may cause car accidents in Fort Lauderdale and other communities, according to experts. The elderly are also more prone to osteoporosis and other illnesses which can affect height. However, many cars are made for taller drivers and may not always provide the correct adjustment’s for drivers who are under 5’3”. Making more customizable steering columns and pedals would help, some experts believe.

2) Automatic seatbelts, easy-to-grasp steering wheels, pushbutton start systems, and thick steering wheels are good features for drivers who suffer from arthritis and for those with mobility issues. Features such as these would make it easier to use safety systems and to operate a car safely, potentially reducing the risk of traffic accidents in Fort Lauderdale and other communities.

3) Larger writing on the dashboard and other systems is useful for those with vision problems. Unfortunately, current car designs feature more and more useful dials and features on the dash. In many cases, this means that each individual button and components needs to be smaller so that all the features can fit. Sleeker car designs also tend to favor smaller buttons and labels on the dash. This can make it harder for elderly and vision-impaired drivers to see everything on the dashboard, especially at night. Enhancing the visibility of the dashboard features can potentially help reduce car and truck accidents in Fort Lauderdale and other communities. Ensuring that the lights on a dashboard are easily adjustable (to reduce glare during night time driving) can also be a useful design feature.

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According to statistics, seniors in Florida will make up 27% of the state’s population by the year 2030, making it the greyest state in the US. Gail Holley of the Florida Department of Transportation’s Safe Mobility for Life program says that more needs to be done to ensure that drivers know when they must hang up their keys in order to prevent car accidents.

According to the AAA, some drivers develop conditions such as arthritis and other conditions which impair driving. Others take medication with severe side effects. In some cases, drivers can operate a car safely into their 90s. In other cases, drivers in their 30s and 40s are dealing with chronic conditions that affect their ability to avoid a car accident. Therefore, it is not age alone that determines driving fitness. However, drivers who are elderly are more at risk for many serious illnesses and may have conditions such as osteoporosis, which can contribute to serious and fatal injuries in the event of a traffic collision.

The AAA suggests that family and friends speak privately to someone who may be having problems driving. According to the organization, it is important to avoid making demands or lecturing the driver. This can be a challenge, since in some cases a driver may be in denial about their situation. If the driver has never gotten a ticket and still has a perfect driving record, for example, they may be reluctant to admit that they have developed some driving challenges. It is also important to discuss transportation alternatives. Many drivers in Florida are reluctant to surrender their driving privileges because they fear losing independence. It may be important to discuss alternatives such as shuttles, taxis, and other resources (as well as their costs) to reassure a driver that they will still be able to get around when they need to.

If you have a friend or loved one who you believe may be an at-risk driver, it is important to take steps to help them before they are injured in a Homestead car accident. Offering alternatives and discussing their medical condition can help. Keep in mind that it is not only the elderly who may have trouble driving due to a health condition. A younger driver with a chronic health condition may still be at risk of causing a Homestead truck accident or Homestead motorcycle accident if their condition affects driving ability. If you yourself have been diagnosed with a chronic condition, discuss your with your doctor and ask how your condition will affect your driving ability. It can be frightening to have a health concern and even more frightening to contemplate giving up your car keys due to a health condition. However, it is important to make the right decision in order to avoid a Homestead traffic accident.

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According to a recent study, elderly pedestrians may be more at risk than elderly drivers. According to the study, conducted at the University of Plymouth, pedestrians over the age of 70 were five times more likely to suffer fatal injuries when they headed out to walk, when compared with pedestrians between the ages of 21 to 29. Jonathan Rolison, who led the study, said that making the roads safer for all pedestrians means not only creating safer roads for elderly drivers but also safer streets for elderly pedestrians.

The research study reviewed U.K. police data for fatal traffic accidents that took place from 1989 to 2009. According to researchers, the results suggested that the risk of fatal injuries was similar for younger drivers and older drivers. For drivers under the age of 29, 13 in 100 million drives resulted in a fatality. For drivers over 70, the rate was 14 in 100 million driving trips. It was when researchers looked fatality rates among pedestrians that they saw a significant difference based on age. For elderly pedestrians, 23 in 100 million walking trips were fatal, a rate that was five times higher than the rate of pedestrian fatalities for younger walkers.

While a great deal has been written about the risk of Miami car accidents for elderly drivers, this latest research suggests that Miami pedestrian accidents may be an even greater concern. Many experts believe that the elderly are more at risk for Miami traffic accidents due to such conditions as dementia, eye problems, and other health conditions which can affect an elderly person’s ability to drive safely. However, some of the same health conditions that the elderly have a disproportionately high risk for also make the elderly vulnerable to pedestrian accidents. Moreover, since many elderly residents of Miami decide to take walks in order to maintain their health and in order to get around, Miami pedestrian accidents can be a significant issue – even when an elderly driver decides to give up their keys and stop driving.

It is everyone’s responsibility to make the streets of Miami as safe as possible, and that does mean making streets safer for pedestrians. Of course, there many things that elderly pedestrians and their families can do in order to keep elderly pedestrians safer. For example, elderly pedestrians can wear visible clothing and sturdy shoes in order to prevent pedestrian accidents. They can also take good care of their health in order to ensure that Miami slip and fall accidents are less of a risk. However, it is also up to legislators and the city to ensure that sidewalks and public spaces are safe for all pedestrians.

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When it comes to Miami Shores car accidents, there is an age-related controversy. While some studies and experts suggest that elderly drivers are actually safer than young drivers when comparing car crash rates, the public perception is that elderly drivers are less safe due to cognitive, vision, and health changes.

Although there are advanced screening solutions available to test elderly drivers for cognitive ability and other driving-related skills, no states currently use the full spectrum of such tests. In most states, including Florida, the requirements for getting a new license or for getting a license renewed are the same, regardless of the driver’s age. However, it does mean that when a Miami Shores traffic accident involves an elderly driver, there is inevitably a question about whether different rules should apply to drivers in different age groups.

Florida does require drivers who are over 79 years of age to get a vision test. As well, elderly drivers in the state need to get their licenses renewed more often. Drivers 80 and older get driver’s license issued for six years, compared to eight years for all other drivers. This ensures that elderly drivers have to come in more often for renewal, which allows specially-trained driver’s-license examiners to evaluate drivers to see whether they may have any impediments that may prevent them from driving safely.

In addition to these rules, doctors play an important role in evaluating driver safety. Doctors who believe that a patient has a condition which impairs their driving ability are mandated to report the patient. Law enforcement authorities can also request that any drivers who have been given a citation be required to complete the driver’s exam again. The public can report anyone they feel may be a dangerous driver through the website.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, crash rates per mile traveled start increasing at age 80. However, many experts note that the overall crash rate for elderly drivers is lower than the crash rate for younger drivers, in part because the elderly drive fewer miles and in part because elderly drivers are statistically less likely to engage in some risky driving behaviors, such as texting and driving, drinking and driving, and other risky activities.

Seniors who want to avoid Miami Shores truck accidents and traffic accidents also have many options. Organizations such as AARP offer safety classes for elderly drivers and can help drivers find alternative forms of transportation once it becomes too unsafe to continue driving. These organizations also raise awareness about when a driver may need to hang up their keys.

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Many news stories involving elderly drivers involved in car accidents focus on the driver’s age. For example, when a man from Apollo Beach was in a motorcycle accident this month, the news stories often focused on the fact that he was 100 years old. When a woman crashed into a Chinese restaurant this month, mistaking her gas pedal and brake, it was widely noted that she was 80 years old.

Stories like these lead many to assume that older drivers are susceptible to car accidents. After all, the elderly are susceptible to many conditions, such as dementia and vision problems, which can significantly impact driving ability. However, a new study suggests that older drivers have comparatively fewer accidents when compared with younger drivers.

According to new numbers from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the 2010 crash rate for drivers age 80 and over in the state was 90 per 10,000. This compared favorably with a crash rate of 347 per 10,000 for drivers in the 15-24 age range. According to some experts, this may be because older drivers tend to drive a little slower and more cautiously. Some experts also suggest that extensively driving experience helps elderly drivers stay safer on the roads. A few experts have critiqued the numbers by noting that the elderly may drive fewer miles when compared with younger drivers, which may possibly impact the crash rate.

What is certain is that the issue of elderly drivers is an important one for the state. In the past five years, the number of drivers in the state who are 71 years or older has increase to 1.8 million – a jump of almost 100, 000. Since 2007, the number of Florida drivers who are 90 years of age has increased by almost 28%, with almost 65,000 Floridians age 90 or above on the roads today. Some counties, such as Hillsborough County, have an even higher rate of elderly drivers. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, there are over 455 Florida drivers who are aged 100 or older.

The recent studies suggest that Medley car accident caused by elderly drivers are perhaps not as prevalent as public perception suggests, but there are still many initiatives in place to help elderly drivers maintain their independence while having a low risk of Medley traffic accidents.

Current research is also being done at the University of South Florida School of Aging Studies to determine how to prevent Medley personal injury among elderly drivers. Researchers there have determine that cognitive ability rather than age and other factors are what matter when it comes to driving ability and safety. That research supports the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles numbers in suggesting that elderly drivers are safer than many believe.

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According to Florida officials, about one quarter of Florida drivers will be seniors by the year 2030. Currently, about 20 percent of drivers in the state are seniors age 65 or older. Much has already been written about elderly drivers and Miami car accidents. Some experts claim that age-related health concerns could make these drivers a risk. Others argue that health concerns that affect driving ability can occur at any age, so it is unfair to target elderly drivers.

A new study, however, suggests that it is not only elderly drivers we need to be concerned about: it is also senior personal injury victims injured in car accidents. According to TRIP, a transportation research group, more senior drivers were killed in 2010 in car accidents in Florida than in any other region of the US. According to the study, 271 seniors were killed in car accidents in Florida in 2010. The study also found that in 503 deaths related to car accidents, the drivers involved were senior drivers. Florida has 9.87 elderly fatalities per 100 000 individuals. Only Texas had a higher rate related to population, with 10.7 senior deaths per 100 000 people.

According to both TRIP and an advocacy organization known as Floridians for Better Transportation, more needs to be done to make Florida roadways safer for everyone, especially now that the number of senior drivers is on the rise. According to Floridians for Better Transportation, one of the issues is that many retirees choose to settle in Florida in their golden years, and this can mean that drivers who are used to driving in other states (and not used to driving in Florida) end up in Florida. Another issue is that drivers are driving longer and seniors are living longer, meaning that elderly drivers spend more time behind the wheel than in past generations.

One issue with Miami car accidents and traffic accidents is not only what causes them, but also the types of injuries which passengers and drivers can sustain. The high rate of fatalities found in the TRIP study could suggest that elderly drivers are vulnerable to injuries sustained in car accidents. Some age-related illnesses, such as osteoporosis, can make elderly victims of Miami truck accidents and traffic accidents more susceptible to broken bones, for example. If an elderly driver or passenger has a pre-existing health condition, any brain injuries, fractures, burn injuries, and other injuries can take longer to heal.

Elderly car accident victims face many challenges as they recover as well. Since many seniors are on fixed incomes, medical costs, car repair costs, and other Miami traffic accident-related costs can create substantial financial distress. At the same time, insurers do not always provide elderly injury victims with fair claim amounts. Since elderly victims may not be income earners, for example, they may not recover for lost income and other related expenses. In addition, elderly drivers may sometimes be unfairly blamed for an accident.

For all these reasons, it is important for elderly car accident victims to consult with a qualified Miami personal injury attorney after their accident. An experienced Miami personal injury attorney can investigate the cause of the accident, can help the accident victim understand the value of their case, and can negotiate with insurance carriers for fairer compensation.

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As baby boomers start turning 65 and as the number of seniors in Florida continues to rise, many are asking about the connections between age and Fort Lauderdale car accidents. Studies out of both the US and Canada suggest that older drivers are actually involved in fewer car collisions when compared with younger drivers. However, some studies also suggest that older drivers are more likely to suffer serious Fort Lauderdale personal injuries or fatalities as a result of an accident when compared with younger drivers.

Researchers in many studies have also suggested that older drivers are more likely than younger drivers to suffer from health problems, including vision problems, which can affect driving safety. However, there is some debate about the best methods for identifying drivers who are at risk due to health issues.

Some experts have suggested mandatory re-testing for older drivers who want to renew their licenses. The benefit of this plan is that it would ensure that age-related illnesses might be caught more often. However, others argue that such testing would increase costs and would not necessarily help, since adults of any age can develop health conditions that prevent them from driving safely.

Other experts have suggested that doctors take a larger role in keeping unsafe drivers off the roads, by being more aggressive in removing drivers with potentially hazardous conditions from the roads by taking away licenses. Many doctors are reluctant to adopt this plan, however, noting that even adults with chronic conditions can eventually manage their conditions and drive safely, making it difficult for doctors to distinguish safe drivers and unsafe drivers. Many doctors point out as well that their role is medicine, not policing the roadways.

While Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accidents and traffic accidents involving elderly drivers often make the news, many experts point out that older drivers are actually less likely to cause a collision than a distracted driver or young driver. Some experts feel that targeting older drivers is unfair for this reason.

One of the best options is for drivers to voluntarily give up their keys when they know that they are no longer able to drive safely. However, this solution is also problematic for a number of reasons. In many cases, drivers are not aware that their condition or symptoms are a danger to themselves or others. In addition, many older drivers are reluctant to give up driving privileges because of the freedom of movement and the independence that driving offers.

In some cases, an illness or symptoms may come on very suddenly, and a driver may have no indication that there is something wrong until it is too late. A driver may have a sudden heart attack, for example, and cause a Fort Lauderdale truck accident without having had any previous symptoms of heart problems. Predicting possible health dangers for drivers ahead of time is just not always possible.

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