Senior driving safety is a growing concern in Connecticut and throughout the nation as the baby boomer generation ages. There are several factors that contribute to unsafe driving behaviors among seniors that once identified can help seniors and their families take steps to make driving safer for everyone.
In 2010, there were 100,000 Connecticut auto accidents, which is average for the state. Of these 100,000 accidents, 6,100 involved a driver over the age 75. In 4,100 of these 6,100 accidents, the senior driver was at fault. While these numbers are high, as a comparison young drivers caused almost a quarter of the state’s accidents in 2010.
Fortunately, Connecticut’s seniors have access to safety courses to help them brush up on their driving skills. Taking a safety course can also help seniors reduce their insurance premiums. Sometimes, senior drivers recognize their deteriorating driving skills and start to avoid night or highway driving situations.
Factors that Contribute to Senior Driver Vehicle Accidents
While some seniors recognize that their driving deficiencies, other seniors may not be so aware. Fortunately, there are things that their loved ones can look for in the driving behavior of elderly parents and relatives that often cause accidents. Identifying these problem areas can help provide evidence that a safety course is needed or that it is time to hang up the keys for good.
According to the AARP, several common factors contribute to senior driving accidents. Often, intersection auto accidents caused by seniors may include failing to yield the right-of-way or making improper left turns. Other times, a senior driver’s inattention of poor reaction time is to blame. Senior drivers may also become confused in heavy traffic, leading to accidents.
While these behaviors are dangerous, there are several warning signs that indicate a senior driver may no longer feel comfortable or confident behind the wheel. Being easily confused or disoriented, even in familiar places, is a sign that a senior driver may need to make some driving changes. Weaving between lanes or ignoring traffic signs and signals and driving too slowly or quickly for conditions are also indicators. If other drivers are consistently honking or passing the senior driver, this can also be a sign of deteriorating driving skills.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident caused by a senior driver there might be available remedies, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your individual case.