Elder Drivers and Car Accidents
Older and more experienced does not always produce the expected result. Particularly with driving, Elder Drivers may cause accidents as often or more often than other drivers. While this notion often lies in a hurtful stereotype against elder drivers, there is some extent of the truth.
In North Carolina, 14.6% of fatal crashes involved a driver over the age of 65. For some, that is not a meaningful number because it doesn’t state that the elder was responsible for the crash. There’s no condemning or placing blame here; it’s a risk that elders take when driving.
Understanding What an Elder Means in a Crash
An elder in most states is anyone over the age of 65. After that age, they will usually need to renew their licenses more frequently and always in person. In North Carolina, a family member can report unsafe driving habits of an elder to the DMV and incite an investigation. Some elders see this as a restriction of their freedoms, while other’s identify that their families are showing genuine concern.
Your feelings on the matter are your own, but it’s a major factor that impacts many elderly drivers. It can also impact everyone else on the road if someone over the age of 65 is driving dangerously. It’s probably that the person in question has driven aggressively or with little care for others on the road for years.
When an elder is in a crash, there are other aspects to consider as well. The police may detain them for questioning regarding their ability or capacity to operate a vehicle. They may even have the elder wait until a family member can arrive and handle the situation for them. Essentially, they receive the same treatment that teenage drivers face.
Know the Facts
Why are elders treated in such a way after an auto accident? There are a few stats that have onset this pattern of treatment. First is that although older drivers do tend to drive more safely, they take fewer precautions for their personal safety. To explain this, you need only to look at a few stats. Drivers over 65 are about 16% more likely to cause a crash. Additionally, they’re more likely to receive fatal injuries during a crash or experience extreme medical complications.
Additionally, over 75% of elder drivers reported taking medications while being unaware if it would impact their ability to operate a vehicle. Most medications prescribed have a warning not to operate heavy machinery, including vehicles.
Regardless of whether you were the older adult or a younger driver involved in this crash, do not apologize. It’s hard, and it can leave you feeling terrible, but apologizing can make it easy for the other driver to pin the blame on you. It’s been long known and accepted that a simple, “I’m sorry” can lose any right to compensation that you thought you had.
After an accident always makes sure to exchange information properly and to contact the police for a report. If you suspect that anyone was hurt immediately contact emergency medical response. As mentioned earlier, elderly drivers face higher fatality rates in car accidents because of their frailty. They are also more susceptible to a medical complication that may arise from seemingly small injuries.
Even if you have the urge to apologize, don’t. It may be best to exchange information quickly and let the responding police officer take over when they arrive. If you were the younger person involved here, make a careful note of what happened for your statement. Be sure to include the medical response team’s time of response and how they addressed your injuries as well.
Finally, don’t forget to follow up. Even if you didn’t apologize, and you have no reason to contact the other driver, you can provide honest input for your claim. Work with an attorney to explain what happened from your side of things.
Contact Hurt.com for Guidance
It can be heart-wrenching to get out of the car and see that the person who hit you was elderly. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pursue compensation. However, it can make filing a claim a little more stressful.
Working with the attorneys at Hurt.com, you can learn more about how much insurance should cover. Many people worry that their claim will negatively impact the other driver and unfortunately it can. However, if you were injured and while you’re trying to make a recovery, you need to focus on yourself and your family.
Contact Hurt.com for assistance and learn what possibilities are in your claim.