The population is aging rapidly, which could pose problems for the safety of U.S. roads since older drivers are at greater risk of collisions. According to Pew Charitable Trusts, more than 60 million seniors will be on U.S. roads in 2030. Many of these seniors could face physical and mental declines that reduce their driving abilities, and many will be on prescription medications that also impact their ability to operate their vehicles effectively.
If a senior driver cause a collision, an Atlanta car accident lawyer can provide representation to victims in pursuing a case for compensation against the older motorist. Unfortunately, these cases are likely to occur in far greater frequency, especially as Pew Charitable Trust reports that legislatures are increasingly reluctant to impose special restrictions on senior drivers such as vision and road testing for license renewals.
Reducing the Risk of Atlanta Car Accidents Caused by Older Motorists
There are several different reasons why legislatures are becoming less likely to impose age-related restrictions and conditions on senior drivers. One issue is that seniors are a “politically-powerful” group, with lobbying arms like the AARP arguing that it is unfair to use age as a benchmark of a motorist’s ability to drive safely.
Another issue is that the definition of what is considered “old,” is evolving as people live longer and remain more active than prior generations.
Finally, some argue that seniors are actually one of the safer groups on the road because they don’t usually speed, don’t generally drink and drive, and tend to wear their seat belts. However, this argument is undermined by the fact that seniors still have the second highest rate of fatal crashes annually, with only teens involved in more deadly collisions.
While there may be some good reasons not to impose additional regulations and restrictions on older motorists, there are also plenty of arguments in favor of making seniors prove they are still fit to drive. As people get older, their vision and reflexes deteriorate, which is why the majority of states already have at least some additional license renewal requirements in place for seniors. WFTV also warns that many seniors will consider driving past the point when they can do so safely.
Seniors may not realize that their health and abilities have declined to the point where they can no longer be safe behind the wheel, and discussing the issue with an older person may be difficult for younger family members who fear a disagreement. Seniors may also be reluctant to listen to concerned loved ones who urge them to stop driving, because giving up the keys can result in a major loss of independence.
New technologies like ride-sharing and self-driving vehicles could reduce the dangers associated with an aging driving population, but the concern remains about car accident risks as the population ages rapidly. Motorists must be aware of the dangers, and should understand their rights if crashes happen. A car accident lawyer can provide help to victims hurt by an older driver so they can pursue an appropriate damage claim.
Glass & Robson provides legal representation to injured clients in Atlanta, GA and surrounding areas. Call 404-751-4702 or contact us online today to talk with an Atlanta injury lawyer who can fight for your right to compensation if you were harmed.