Were you in a crash that was caused by a senior driver? Older drivers drive less, but experience a higher rate of collisions per mile driven than middle age drivers. Fortunately, most older drivers understand that they may not see as well as they used to, or have the same reaction time that others on the road have, and therefore drive more slowly and carefully than others. However, this is not always enough to prevent a crash. If you were injured in a collision with an elderly driver, you need to talk to an attorney about your options for financial compensation.
Why Elderly Drivers Can be Hazardous Behind the Wheel
As we age, we all suffer an inevitable decline in physical and cognitive function. Below are some of the issues that the National Institute on Aging describes as complications for elderly drivers.
- Slow Motor Reflexes and Delayed Reaction Time—This can be an issue when a green light changes to yellow, or when another driver up ahead suddenly slows to allow a pedestrian to cross the street at a crosswalk.
- Eyesight Issues—Poor eyesight affects every aspect of driving. From judging speed and distance, to noticing vehicles or bikes in the lane over, all drivers rely on their eyesight to navigate and react to others on the road.
- Dementia—Dementia or Alzheimer’s causes a slew of problems that makes driving even short distances incredibly dangerous for the elderly person, and for everyone else on the road. Dementia can result in drifting from lane to lane, easily getting lost, failure to notice signs or lights, driving dangerously slow or fast, and even confusing the gas pedal for the brake pedal, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- Impaired Hearing—Drivers rely less on their ears than other road users, such as pedestrians, because they are encased in glass and steel, and often have the music or radio on. However, drivers rely on hearing, particularly when being warned by other drivers, such as being honked at to not change lanes, because there is another driver occupying that space.
- Poor Flexibility—Bad flexibility results in a driver relying solely on their mirrors, which are often not adjusted properly. Elderly drivers are less likely to turn and look to the sides before changing lanes, a dangerous behavior that can cause pedestrians and cyclists serious injuries.
- Medications—Certain medications cause drowsiness, dizziness, various forms of intoxication, disorientation, weakness, and other issues that may inhibit the elderly person’s ability to drive.
- Health Complications While Driving—Anyone can suffer a sudden medical emergency while driving, though a stroke or heart attack is much more common among the elderly. Such an emergency renders the driver incapable of steering, braking, or doing anything to avoid a collision.
Talk to a San Jose Traffic Collision Attorney Today for Help
If you were injured in a collision, no matter the other driver’s age, you need to discuss your options for legal compensation with an experienced attorney if that other driver caused the crash. Call the San Jose personal injury lawyers at the Solution Now Law Firm today at to schedule a free consultation.