Miami Car Accidents and the Elderly

There is a popular view that Florida is home to a larger population of elderly individuals compared to other US states, and census data confirms this assumption. The state Department of Elder Affairs reports that more than a quarter of the state’s population is at least 60 years old, while 20% are aged 65 and up. Based on these figures, you might guess that the risk of car accidents is higher with so many older drivers on the road. It is true that there are unique factors involved with elderly motorists, but there is much more to the story than pinning blame on age.

If you were involved in an auto crash, negligence is the key to recovering compensation for your losses. You must establish that the other driver was careless, so age is not a factor. A Miami car accident lawyer can assist with the legal process, but some statistics on elderly individuals and crashes reveal that the threat is not what you expect.

Statistics on Motor Vehicle Collisions and the Elderly

On one hand, older drivers are more likely to drive defensively, follow speed limits, and comply with traffic laws. These factors contribute to lower accident rates among elderly motorists, as less than 12% of all drivers involved in accidents are aged 64-74. However, other statistics from the CDC are more disturbing regarding fatal crashes:

  • Drivers aged 55 and up make up just 36.7% of all licensed motorists, but they cause more than half of deadly auto accidents.
  • The odds of being involved in a deadly car accident, based upon miles traveled, is highest among motorists 85 and older.
  • There were 56% more elderly drivers traveling on US roadways in 2016 as compared to 1999.

Factors Tied to Higher Crash Rates

When it comes to elderly drivers, impairments in three areas are more likely to contribute to car accidents:

  • Age is associated with vision decline, such as cataracts, glaucoma, effects of diabetes, and macular degeneration.
  • Cognition diminishes with age, affecting memory and attention span – two skills that are essential for safe driving. Medical problems in this area may be tied to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the effects of medication can impact cognitive reasoning.
  • A driver’s motor functions can suffer from issues like arthritis, diabetes, muscular decline, and other complications.

It is worth noting that, in Florida, driver’s license renewal cycles are every eight years for drivers aged 79 and under. That cycle drops to six years for those 80 and older, who also need to prove they have adequate vision when renewing.

Get in Touch With a Miami Auto Crash Attorney About Your Rights

Claims about a driver’s age are not sufficient to prove your right to monetary damages after a car accident, so trust our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA to handle the legal side of things. For more information on your legal remedies, please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. We can schedule a free consultation to review your situation and work out a strategy.

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