Elderly Drivers and Increased Risk for Serious Auto Accidents:
On Wednesday morning an 83-year-old Fremont man veered off Westbound Washington Boulevard and on to the sidewalk where he struck and killed a San Remo man who was exchanging insurance information with another female driver with whom he had a minor collision on the nearby I-680. 47-year-old John Soopikian was found pinned under his own car when emergency personnel arrived on scene and he was later declared dead at San Jose hospital. This accident brings to mind the ever-prevalent question; what can be done about aging drivers to decrease the risk of accidents resulting in injury or death?
A NHTSA study of the 1995 FARS (Fatal Accident Reporting System) data reports that senior citizens accounted for:
- 5% of all people injured in traffic crashes
- 13% of all traffic fatalities
- 13% of all vehicle occupant fatalities
- 18% of all pedestrian fatalities
According to the 2010 US Census, persons over the age of 65 currently account for 12.9% of the US population. It is also estimated that 15% of licensed drivers are senior citizens. That means that 15% of drivers are responsible for 13% of all traffic fatalities. That is a staggering statistic! The fact that it is projected that in the year 2030 9.6 million people will be over the age of 85, a 73% increase from today, suggests that finding a solution to the pressing issue of aging drivers will become more and more imperative.
While we sympathize with an aging person’s need to be and feel independent, the autonomy of the elderly should not be more precious to us than the safety of other drivers, their passengers or pedestrians. Safety must come first.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one because an elderly man or woman unsafely drove a vehicle, please call the Arizona car accident attorneys of Brigham Cluff and David Cluff today. The Cluff’s specialize in auto accident injuries and will work tirelessly to get you the settlement or verdict you deserve. Being involved in an accident or experiencing a great loss so suddenly can take its toll on your body and soul; let us take it from here.
For more information on this subject contact us for a free initial consultation. No recovery, no fee.