Senior drivers at increased risk of North Carolina car accidents as winter driving, holidays approach

As winter driving season rapidly approaches along with the upcoming holidays, it is an excellent time to talk to elderly relatives about the importance of safe driving habits in reducing their risk for a North Carolina car accident.

The USA Today reports that the issue of senior driving safety is moving to the forefront as the baby boomers hit the exits to retirement.
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The number of residents over the age of 70 is expected to increase from 1 in 10 today to 1 in 5 by the year 2040. The number of licensed drivers over the age of 65 will nearly double, from 30 million today to 57 million in 2030. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that older drivers account for 1 in 7 fatal accidents and 1 in 5 fatal pedestrian accidents.

In 2008, more than 183,000 older drivers were injured in traffic accidents. North Carolina car accidents involving elderly drivers killed 208 motorists while South Carolina car accidents involving seniors resulted in 116 fatalities.

As a group, the risk of being involved in a fatal car accident begins to increase steadily after the age of 65. Drivers over the age of 85 have a worse fatality rate than teenagers, who are typically considered the most dangerous drivers on the road. The USA Today reports that the typical man will outlive his driving ability by six years — women, by an average of 20 years.

Many attempt to compensate for declining abilities by making concessions, such as not driving at night. However, that does not guarantee their safety. The government reports the vast majority of accidents involving drivers over the age of 65 occur during the day and during the week.

By opening up an early dialogue with a loved one, families may be able to make a number of adjustments, such as moving an elderly family member to an area with readily available public transportation.

The NHTSA offers families a host of senior driving resources in North Carolina, available here.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.

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