Seniors at risk of fatal motor vehicle accidents

Many older people in Miami-Dade drive to retain their independence and mobility. However, seniors who choose to do so are at risk of being fatally injured in car accidents. According to a 2012 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of seniors who are licensed to operate motor vehicles is approximately 36 million. The number of elderly people who died from car crashes was 5,560 and 214,000 sustained injuries. The CDC states that as people grow older, their risk of death or injury in a traffic accident rises.

Senior citizens who suffer from cognitive function impairment and vision changes are more at risk for accidents, injury and even death. Drivers who are 85 years old and older are more likely to succumb to crash-related injuries and have higher fatality rates that drivers who are 74 years old and younger.

Mother Nature Network reports that there are several reasons why older drivers are more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents than younger drivers. Many older motorists are not comfortable navigating across crowded roads when making left turns. One out of every four senior drivers makes improper left turns. Failure to yield is the cause of 35 percent of senior-related traffic violations. Additionally, intersections account for one third of deadly accidents involving elderly people.

Change is also another factor that affects seniors; many cars and streets are not the same as they once were. Older motorists may not remember everything they learned from driving instruction courses that were taken decades ago. Senior citizens who choose to drive should be aware of the risks they face while on the road. Refresher driver instruction courses can reduce their risk of injury and fatality.