The Florida Times-Union is among the media outlets reporting more drivers over the age of 65 are killed in Florida than anywhere else in the country. Last year, 682 fatal traffic accidents in Florida involved at least one senior driver, according to TRIP, a national nonprofit transportation research group in Washington.
Florida is second in the nation in the number (3,341,250) of drivers 65 or older. TRIP’s report says 23 percent of the 3.3 million licensed drivers in Florida are 65 or older, based on 2012 to 2016 statistics.
Texas ranked behind Florida with 568 deaths and 2,544,250 drivers.
Senior Traffic Accidents in Southwest Florida
Our Injury lawyers in Fort Myers know teenagers face the highest risks of being involved in a serious or fatal accident. However, once a driver reaches the age of 65, his or her risks continue to increase, approaching that of a teenager for those over age 80.
Risk factors faced by older drivers include:
- Vision and hearing: Both critical to the task of driving, loss of vision or hearing can impact driving ability. Senior drivers should have both checked annually.
- Reaction time: We slow as we age and that is never more true than when we are behind the wheel.
- Mobility: The aches and pains that come with aging can impact our ability to steer, turn our heads and/or operate the pedals.
- Distraction: While older drivers are among the best on the road when it comes to avoiding needless distraction behind the wheel, external distractions including construction, traffic and roadside obstructions, can have a greater impact on the accident risks of a senior.
- Medication: Seniors are more likely to be on multiple prescription medications, which can adversely impact driving performance.
Injury Claims for Older Drivers
Our Fort Myers injury lawyers know there is no such thing as a typical recovery when it comes to seniors who are involved in serious or fatal motor vehicle accidents.
Injuries can result in permanent reduction in mobility, independence and quality of life. Recovery can take longer. The impact to retirement may be severe, with travel plans significantly curtailed and a reduced involvement with the lives of friends and loved ones. Depression and isolation may result, particularly in cases where a more complete physical recovery remains elusive.
Retirement may also impact a damages claim, as claims for loss of wages or other income become more difficult. Insurance companies too often deny claims for rehabilitation, home-healthcare options, or other arrangements that can help a senior make a complete recovery or improve quality of life.
Pre-Existing conditions may also be used by insurance companies and their defense attorneys to limit claims. Claims for other consequences of injuries, including hospital infections, may be outright denied.
We know most seniors are safe and careful drivers. In fact, statistics show they are among the best at avoiding distraction, obeying traffic laws, and limiting driving at night or during other peak times. Most seniors see driving as critical to maintaining their independence. Reaching out for help in the immediate aftermath of a serious collision is the best thing you can do to protect your rights.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.