Older California drivers may value the independence that driving brings, but they must also take steps to ensure their safety and that of others on the road. When they reach the age of 70, the rate of fatalities for drivers in crashes begins to increase significantly, and it is highest of all for drivers who are at ot older than 85. However, this is not due to poor driving behavior in this age group as much as because of medical complications and a greater susceptibility to injury.
There are age-related issues that may increase the likelihood that older drivers might be less safe on the road including failing vision, a decline in cognitive ability and various physical ailments. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older drivers already take some steps to mitigate these factors. They are more likely to use seat belts and travel during times when conditions are optimal than drivers in other age groups. They are also less likely to drink and drive.
Experts recommend some other precautions to keep older drivers safe on the road and avoid crashes. These include having regular vision checks, ensuring that any medication does not interfere with their ability to drive, exercise to maintain agility, avoiding distractions and leaving a large distance behind the car they are following.
An older driver who is injured in an accident is not necessarily the driver who is responsible for the accident. However, factors like poor vision and cognitive or physical issues that might lead to slower reactions times could mean the older driver is unable to maneuver as effectively to prevent the accident as another driver might. Whatever the cause, injuries might be more severe for an older driver. If the other driver's insurance company does not offer sufficient compensation, the injured driver may wish to consult an attorney.