Understanding the Impact of Car Accidents on Senior Drivers

senior citizens and accidents

No matter your age, a car accident is something to avoid. While younger drivers tend to get in accidents due to speeding and general reckless driving, older or senior drivers, defined as anyone older than 65, may have some physical or cognitive decline that affects reaction time and contributes to a car accident.

The numbers tell the story.

Senior Drivers Behind the Wheel

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of older drivers on the roads is increasing. That’s due to the aging of Baby Boomers, a demographic surge of those born after World War II. The CDC reports there were 48 million licensed drivers over the age of 65 in 2020, a 68 percent increase since 2000.

Unfortunately, the risk of being injured in a car accident increases as people age. 

For example, in 2020, about 7,500 older Americans died in car accidents, and 200,000 were treated in emergency rooms for crash-related injuries. 

Those numbers translate to 20 older drivers killed each day and almost 540 injured in car crashes. 

At age 70 and above, senior drivers show higher crash death rates than middle-aged drivers (ages 35 to 54) per 1,000 crashes.  

For teen drivers, the risk of a fatal crash is higher than for older drivers. The number of vehicle crashes among teens ages 16 to 19 is higher than any other age group. Teens do not have the experience to recognize a dangerous situation and are more likely to make a critical error that can cause a serious car crash.

Additionally, older drivers have more experience behind the wheel and often take precautions to ensure everyone stays safe. They better understand the types of roads they are not good at traversing and the time of day that works best for safe driving.

Impact of a Car Accident on a Senior Driver 

Regardless, the impact of a car accident can vary. There are several factors to be considered for senior drivers, including: 

  • Physical Impact – Some seniors may be vulnerable to suffering a serious injury in a car accident due to pre-existing conditions such as weak bones and muscles. Car injuries that injure occupants can include a head injury, internal injuries, whiplash, and broken bones.
  • Emotional Impact – Emotionally, seniors may suffer long-term trauma and the loss of independence. A fear of driving again, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder may mean a senior will consider giving up his driving license after a car accident. Driving restrictions may be imposed on the senior driver, adding to a long-term emotional impact.
  • Financial Impact – if the senior driver is involved in a car accident and is injured, they will face mounting medical bills, the cost of vehicle repair, and even legal bills if the accident results in a lawsuit. Conversely, they may want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to receive compensation for their losses.

Your Alabama Car Accident Attorney

Following a car accident in Alabama, you can ask for compensation from the at-fault driver. In the case of a fatality, the family of the deceased may seek wrongful death compensation. 

Because Alabama is an at-fault state, the party who is legally responsible for the accident is financially responsible for compensating anyone injured in the crash. Generally, this is paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Attorney Chip Nix understands that the state’s contributory negligence statute seeks to bar you from financial recovery, even if you are partially at fault for the accident. 

Rarely do you want to accept the settlement amount offered by the other side’s insurance company. It is generally called a “lowball offer” and designed to pay you the minimum to make you go away. 

Attorney Nix will help you determine the circumstances of the car accident and what it will cost you in the present in the future, including your medical costs, your lost wages, damage to your car, and the future costs of your medical care. In the case of wrongful death, the compensation will consider the loss to the dependents of the deceased. 

These discussions can be had with Attorney Nix at his Montgomery office during a complimentary consultation. Get an idea of how to proceed through this challenging chapter of your life by calling 334-203-6669. 



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