Georgia comes in at No. 4 when it comes to the number of auto accidents involving drivers 65 and older (per 100,000 people). This is according to a report from The Senior List, a senior care website. The three states worse than Georgia are Florida, Texas and California. As for the safest states, they include New Hampshire, South Dakota, Delaware and Hawaii.
The number of senior drivers in the U.S. has increased 60% since 1999. There are now roughly 42 million licensed drivers who are at least 65 years old. That comes to almost one in five drivers. Despite the overall decrease in traffic deaths among vehicle occupants, bikers and pedestrians, there has been a steady increase in senior traffic fatalities. In 2017, nearly 7,000 seniors died in traffic accidents, making up 18% of crash fatalities for that year.
It is obvious why senior drivers can be a hazard on the road. Many suffer from diminished hearing and vision, motor impairment and slower reaction times. Comparisons between older drivers and younger drivers do not produce any useful data. While some states see a higher ratio of accidents among younger drivers, others do not. Nevertheless, it is important for seniors to know when they are no longer capable of driving and accept it.
A senior who causes a collision due to an impairment could be held financially liable. Their auto insurance company may find itself facing a personal injury case from the injured party. For their part, a victim may want to pursue a case only with legal representation. Personal injury lawyers often have a network of professionals who can gather evidence, measure the extent of injuries and more. Most lawyers tend to strive for a settlement rather than go straight to litigation.