Seventeen percent of Florida residents and twenty percent of Florida drivers are over age 65. Florida's drivers age 65 to 80 may renew their licenses with no additional testing unless a driver suffers from serious health problems like stroke, seizures, or dementia. After 80 years of age, drivers may renew their license as long as they pass an eye exam.
A 2007 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that drivers age 65 and over are more likely to die or to sustain serious injuries in non-rollover crashes than drivers in any other age group. And, the risk of injury and death increases with age. Drivers in the 65-69-year-old age group have an accident rate of about 13 fatal accidents per 100,000 people, for drivers age 80-84 years old, the rate is 19 fatal accidents per 100,000 people.
Why are senior drivers more likely to suffer injury and death in a West Palm Beach car crash? Palm Beach car accident attorney David Glatthorn says there are three main reasons.
1. Older drivers have a higher risk of left turn accidents.
Nearly one-third of accidents involving senior drivers are left turn car crashes. Drivers over age 65 are five times more likely to be involved in a left-turn accident than younger drivers. This may because of vision loss, problems with peripheral vision or even difficulty turning one's head to see. Left turn accidents are especially dangerous because crumple zones and safety features (especially in older cars) are designed to protect from front and rear impact.
2. Older drivers are less aggressive than younger drivers.
Older drivers tend to be more cautious than younger drivers. The 2007 IIHS study found that older drivers are less likely to cause car accidents than younger drivers, but more likely to suffer injury. When a West Palm Beach car accident involves a younger driver and an older driver, the older driver's vehicle is twice as likely to be the vehicle that is hit.
3. Older drivers often have delayed reactions.
As a person ages, physical and mental reactions slow down. Unfortunately, when the unexpected happens, quick reactions are often the only way to prevent a West Palm Beach car wreck.
4. Older drivers may be frail or have health problems that are complicated by injury.
As one ages, bones become brittle and less able to heal. Older drivers are at higher risk of suffering broken bones. In addition, an older driver may have a harder time recovering from an injury than a younger driver.
Were you injured in a Palm Beach car crash? If the accident was caused by another driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, lost income and other losses. To learn more, request a free copy of The Florida Accident Workbook: Tools, Tips & Tactics to Resolve Your Injury Claim. To discuss your Florida accident claim with a Palm Beach car accident attorney, contact David Glatthorn at 888-340-2620.