Elderly Driver Car Accident Lawyers
As the baby boomer population ages, more and more senior citizens are on the roads. In Georgia, there are currently over one million licensed drivers over age 65, including more than 600,000 over age 70. The Georgia Department of Driver Services (GDDS) allows those aged 59 and older to obtain shorter-term, 5-year driver’s licenses. GDDS also has a vision screening requirement for drivers ages 64 and up. However, there is no prerequisite exam that tests important driving skills such as reaction time and depth perception. As a result, there are many seniors on the road who may be unable to meet the requirements of driving an automobile safely.
In fact, many seniors on the roads may suffer from medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, that may cause a medical emergency while they are driving and result in a serious accident. Seniors also have a increased risk of stroke as they age. Suffering from a stroke while at the wheel can undoubtedly cause a very serious accident. In addition, seniors taking medications for certain conditions may not be aware of the side effects the medications may have on their driving ability thereby placing themselves and others on the roads at risk for an accident and injury. Other medical conditions, including arthritis and glaucoma, may make basic driving skills such as steering and judging distances more difficult for senior drivers again placing them at a higher risk of causing an accident. There may also be some seniors on the road who are suffering with dementia which can have a significant impact on their ability to process information and make the decisions necessary for safe driving.
No one wants to give up the freedom that accompanies driving. However, it is important for older drivers and their family members to recognize when it may be time to stop driving. One way to do this is to properly assess the most common risk factors for older drivers. These include:
- Delayed response time
- Declining hearing and vision
- Cognitive impairment
- Joint stiffness and difficulty moving
- Driving too slowly
- Ignores traffic signals or signs
- Gets lost on familiar routes
- Get increasingly nervous or agitated while driving
- Gets drowsy often while driving
- Inability to stay in their lane of travel
- Have had many more near-misses than usual
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with an elderly driver, remember to keep calm. The other driver is probably very upset and you do not want to make a bad situation worse. However, it is important to hold that person responsible for their actions, and also help keep them off the road if they are unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. Also, it is important to obtain the very best legal representation, so you can recover fair compensation for your injuries and property damage. Please contact the law firm of Katz Wright Fleming & Dodson, LLC for your free consultation at (404) 460-0101.