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Elderly Car Accidents

Driving can help older adults stay active and feel a sense of independence. Elderly people are among the most cautious group of drivers and often avoid driving at night, in inclement weather or during rush hour. However, aging can undoubtedly affect one’s driving ability. In 2018, nearly seven thousand people 65 years or older were killed in car accidents, making up 19 percent of all traffic fatalities. In fact, those aged 75 and older have the highest death crash rate.

As individuals get older, their cognitive functions and vision inevitably decline. This unfortunately decreases the ability to make speedy decisions and use quick reflexes, which is imperative when operating a motor vehicle. According to the American Automobile Association, the most common medical conditions that could affect an elderly person’s ability to drive safely include:

  • Dementia
  • Arthritis
  • Cataracts
  • Uncontrolled Diabetes
  • Strokes
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Glaucoma
  • Parkinson’s Disease

In Louisiana, drivers 70 years of age or older are to renew their license in person and must do so every four years. This also includes an in-person vision test, but no other health test is required. In addition, Louisiana accepts inquiries from concerned citizens to perform an unsafe driver investigation.

To avoid adding to the number of motor vehicle accidents, older drivers may need to take more safety precautions or cease driving all together. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises the families of elderly drivers to consider keeping them off the road if any of the following instances begin to frequently occur:

  • Getting lost on familiar routes and roadways
  • Driving too fast or too slow for no apparent reason
  • Failing to use signals and improperly turning
  • Received a traffic citation for impaired driving or another traffic violation
  • Increased fatigue or unawareness due to medication or medical conditions
  • Becoming overwhelmed by traffic lights, signs, or markings
  • New dents and scratches on the vehicle
  • Involved in a recent near miss or collision

Even with these warnings, older drivers still get behind the wheel every day. If you were involved in an accident with an elderly driver, you may be entitled to damages. You will need to show that: the driver owed you a duty of care, the elderly driver breached that duty of care, the accident and injuries were caused by that breach, and you sustained damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you prove up the at-fault driver’s negligence. Recovery for your losses may include past, present and future medical expenses, lost wages, any emotional and/ or physical pain, property damage, and more.

Elder drivers can pose a substantial risk on the road. It is important to hire a seasoned and knowledgeable personal injury attorney after an accident to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Attorney Cliff Cardone serves residents all across Louisiana with their personal injury needs. We have offices in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, PHONE CARDONE at 504-522-3333 or 1-888-892-2736 or email us at ccardone@cardonelaw.com for a free consultation.

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