While many government programs have been tirelessly involved in reducing the number of teenage drivers involved in distracted driving accidents, little is currently being done to address an equally pressing issue of public safety: elderly drivers who are no longer fit to operate a vehicle. A car accident lawyer Berwyn may see several cases in their career involving elderly drivers who should no longer be behind the wheel. According to USA Today, health and safety officials contend that as more of the younger generations age, those who refuse to stop driving despite an inability to do so safely will become one of the greatest risks to motorists on the roads.
Abundant examples of dangerous elderly drivers
A Lake In the Hills bank was recently in serious need of repair following an accident involving an elderly driver. The 85-year old woman accidentally crashed her car into the bank and pushed a window for two feet before bringing the vehicle to a stop. One bank employee was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor back pain in connection with the crash. According to the NBC Chicago, the woman told law enforcement officers that she was trying to park her car at the bank when she accidentally accelerated instead of braking. Driver confusion is thought to be a major contributing factor in the accident.
The American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Traffic Safety recently performed a study in conjunction with the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg in which they found that fatality and injury rates for drivers rises after they reach the age of 65. When they reach 75-84, their fatality rates become equal to those seen with teenage drivers. Elderly fatality rates actually increase to four times that seen in teens when the drivers are over the age of 85. Road safety analysts believe that by 2030, elderly drivers will be so numerous that they cause or contribute to 25 percent of fatal crashes every year.
Illinois currently has laws in place that are aimed at protecting motorists without infringing on the freedoms of many older drivers. Motorists between the ages of 69 and 80 are required to renew their license every 4 years. Drivers between 80 and 86 must renew every 2 years, and drivers over the age of 87 must do so annually. All renewals must be done in person for those over the age of 74, and motorists who are 75 or older have to pass a road test to receive their license.
Seeking help following an accident
Those who have been injured in an accident involving older drivers should contact a car accident lawyer in Berwyn for assistance in their matters. An attorney may help their clients receive the compensation and closure that they need following an injury accident.