Last year, financial news and opinion site 24/7 Wall St. evaluated crash data from 2016 to determine which states had the deadliest roads. Not only did Georgia rank 14th on this study, but The Peach State also claimed the 4th place crown for largest number of roadway fatalities (1,554). Interestingly, it isn’t just the quality of our roads that led to the latter statistic.
Approximately 25% of all drivers on the road are over the age of 65. Unfortunately, as people grow older, they inevitably experience physical and mental decline that could make them unsafe drivers.
Earlier this year, TheSeniorList.com collected data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to answer a very interesting question: “Which States Have the Worst Drivers?” According to this study, Georgia ranks 4th for most car accidents involving drivers over the age of 65; in fact, senior drivers account for 14% of all fatal accidents each year, despite representing only 19% of all licensed drivers.
The following states having the highest number of senior drivers involved in fatal accidents:
- North Carolina
People are understandably reluctant to give up the freedom that comes with a driver’s license, especially if they haven’t realized – or are in denial – that they’re no longer fit to drive.
TheSeniorList.com created a checklist to help drivers determine if they’re safe to be on the road:
- Are you having trouble with your hearing or vision?
- Are you struggling with motor control issues and slower reaction times?
- Are you losing your place in verbal conversations more frequently?
- Are you drinking on a daily basis?
This purpose of this blog isn’t to pick on older drivers; there are many drivers over the age of 65 who are perfectly capable of safely and effectively operating a motor vehicle. The reason we wanted to bring attention to this study is share helpful safety tips that can honestly benefit all drivers. For example, it’s important to be aware of the various factors that could make an individual dangerous as a driver, such as distracted driving.
Age & the Dangers of Distracted Driving
Last July, the University of Utah and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published a study that claims senior drivers are more likely to be distracted while driving due to advancements in smartphone and in-vehicle technology. An in-vehicle information system (IVIS) helps drivers complete tasks through voice command options. However, many older drivers are struggling with this technology.
The study, “Age-Related Differences in the Cognitive, Visual and Temporal Demands of In-Vehicle Information Systems,” states that in-vehicle electronics are changing “the way that drivers manage their attention behind the wheel, potentially leading to increases in driver distraction.” The results of this study prove that drivers over the age of 55 are 4-8 seconds slower than millennial drivers when utilizing in-vehicle functions. AAA wrapped up this report by reminding drivers that taking your eyes off the road for even two seconds can double the risk of crashing a vehicle.
Regardless of age, drivers need to pull over if in-vehicle technology becomes too distracting. It’s also helpful to program navigation tasks and radio stations before backing out of the driveway. If you’re concerned about your functionality as a driver, you can also schedule medical, vision, and hearing exams to discuss your options with a trained professional. For some people, purchasing hearing aids and glasses is a simple but effective way to stay safe on the road.
Injured in a Car Collision? Contact the Attorneys at Pratt Clay, LLC
Contact the car accident lawyers at Pratt Clay, LLC if you’re ready to file a claim against a negligent or distracted driver. Our results-driven legal team has recovered multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients time and time again.