Car accident prevention tips for New Haven’s senior residents

Friday November 1, 2013

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers 65 years old and above will increase by 70 percent in the next 20 years. This is significant because the age group has one of the highest crash rates, second only to teenagers. In fact, based on these statistics, the NHTSA estimates a possible 100,000 driver deaths between the years 2008 to 2028, if significant safety changes are not made.

For New Haven, Connecticut, senior residents, it is not too late for a person to avoid problems on the road. The National Institutes of Health has stated that as a person ages, the risk of crashes rise as well. On a positive note, older drivers are less prone to accidents related to drunk driving and speeding. On the other hand, they are more likely to be involved in accidents at intersections.

To address this situation, the NIH has revealed common mistakes to avoid if an elderly resident wants to prevent a car accident. One of them is the failure to yield the right of way. Others are related to driving at intersections, such as miscalculating the distance or the time a driver should turn in front of traffic, failing to come to a full stop at a stop sign and being unable to stay in the correct lane.

Driving takes a skill set that includes focus, good vision and quick and sound decision-making. That set of skills can decline considerably as a person ages. This can compromise the safety of older drivers as well as other motorists. Being in harm’s way can result in whiplash, brain and spinal injuries and other serious injuries.

Although age plays a factor in effective driving, driving negligently goes beyond age. Being a negligent driver, regardless of age, makes a motorist a liability on the road. New Haven residents injured by a senior-citizen driver can file a legal action to allow the accident victim to obtain compensation to cover accident-related expenses.

Source: Uticaod.com, “Boomers, seniors And driving statistics,” Melissa Erickson, Oct. 11, 2013

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