In 2008, 652 people died in car accidents in Washington State. Research shows that 85% of car accidents are caused by the driver. Teenage drivers and the elderly are at the highest risk at being in a motor vehicle accident. Given that senior citizens drive less than your average teenager, some seniors may be at a higher risk for a driver-caused car accident.
In a 2006 survey given by the Washington Department of Licensing, those surveyed said that the “number one recommendation to improve public safety was to retest senior drivers.” Many people believe that seniors should prove their fitness to drive.As the population ages, by 2025, 25 percent of all drivers will be age 64 or older. Some states are drafting legislation requiring all drivers 85 and older to pass a road and eye test before having their license automatically renewed.
Recently in Massachusetts, there were two deadly car-pedestrian accidents involving senior citizens. In one, seven people were injured after a a 73-year-old woman ran her car over a curb and hit a crowd at a war memorial; It was this woman’s third accident in three years. In another accident, a 93-year-old man mistook his gas pedal for the brake and drove his car into the front of a Wal-Mart, injuring six people.
Recognizing that this may be a growing problem, you might let your legislator know if this is a concern for you. Some insurance companies are encouraging seniors to take a “Senior Citizen Driving Course” by giving them a discount on car insurance. Organizations including AARP.org and iDriveSafely provide courses and resources for the mature driver.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in car accidents and the families of those who have died.