You may have heard that driving can be dangerous for senior citizens. This is a generalization, but it is true that there are several unique risks faced by the elderly population when they hit the road. According to the Emergency Medicine Journal, older drivers are more likely to get into a collision.
This is not the only risk to be taken into consideration, though. You should also be aware of the following issues affecting elderly drivers.
Higher likelihood of death
Many people cite studies indicating the higher rate of collisions among senior drivers. Fewer, however, are aware of the fact that seniors are also more likely to die in collisions than the rest of the driving population. This is likely because elderly people are physically more fragile than a younger person might be, and a crash can exacerbate existing medical issues.
Greater risk of severe injuries
In collisions involving elderly drivers, if they survive, there is still a greater chance that they will suffer severe injuries. Chest injuries are a particular risk faced by seniors, and they are at an increased risk of sustaining fractures to the sternum or ribs as well as the flail chest. Injuries such as these can have a seriously detrimental impact on the health and quality of life a senior enjoys.
Violation of traffic laws
Many seniors are perfectly safe drivers who never experience the aforementioned incidents on the road. Even the safest elderly drivers, though, may be more likely to violate traffic laws. Forgetting to buckle a seatbelt, ignoring the speed limit and running red lights are just a few of the faux pas that can occur on the road if an elderly driver is not paying attention.
Elderly drivers should be aware of the dangers they face and know that they have legal rights in the event of a car accident. Contact an attorney if you were in a collision.