Senior citizens at high risk of car accidents in Boca Raton

With an ever increasing number of people living well into their 80’s and 90’s these days, we can expect that the number of car accidents involving elderly drivers is going to increase the next few years.

Boca Raton injury lawyers frequently help elderly victims and know that senior citizens are the age group most at risk of being in a car crash. In 2009, Florida reported 447 older adult fatalities in car crashes.

Driving is a senior citizen’s freedom. Many older adults see their driving skills fade with age, just like the rest of their body. An example, Orlando Sentinel recently reported about an 82-year-old Boca Raton woman who tried to make a U-turn from a left turn lane on Yamato Road. She sped up during the turn causing her to go on the opposite shoulder, lose control, and eventually head airborne across a canal. The senior citizen hit the bank on the other side and landed in the water. The elderly driver was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2009, almost 5,300 deaths and another 187,000 injuries resulted in traffic crashes with an older adult ages 65 and older. It was also reported for 2009 that 71 percent of these crashes occurred on weekdays, 81 percent occurred during the day, and 69 percent involved other vehicles.

Florida has a particular concern for the safety of older adults because so many flock to the state to live either full time or during the winter months. The NHTSA reports a substantial number of deaths in the older population in our state when they hit age 70. Florida led the nation in deaths for 70-74 year-olds (113), the 75-79 age group (72), 80-84 year-old age group (82) and seniors 85+ (63) who were involved in fatal crashes.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has a helpful website dedicated to senior drivers. Older adults and their families can visit the site to get helpful information about:

-Health & Fitness which includes information about exercising, medications, sleep, and vision.

-Driving tips which include adjusting mirrors, head rests, or using unfamiliar cars.

-Basic driving skills needed which includes driving in heavy traffic and watching out for pedestrians or bicyclists.

-Travel tips including information about rest stops, maps, and being prepared for when something goes wrong.

-Emergency situations and what to do if you crash, including emergency phone numbers in Florida.