82-Year-Old Driver Injures Two Pedestrians – Are Your Parent’s at Risk for a Car Accident in Chicago?

Six traffic violations were handed to an 82-year-old woman accused of causing a serious car vs. pedestrian accident in Chicago this past weekend. The woman was allegedly driving the wrong way on the Magnificent Mile and struck two pedestrians, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The woman was cited for driving over the median, negligent driving, disobeying a red light and for striking the pedestrians in a crosswalk, according to Chicago Police Officer John Mirabelli.It’s a part of life. One day we’re all going experience a loss in eyesight, hearing and hand-eye coordination. Many of us will fight these aging symptoms. It is important to keep an eye on our parents, grandparents and other elderly loved ones to make sure that our friends and family members are not facing increased risks of being involved in a serious car accident. Our Illinois car accident attorneys encourage all residents to speak with their parents about aging and driving. It may be tough and you may not want to do it, but it’s important.

Police have yet to determine why the woman was driving the wrong direction when the accident happened. The pedestrians were injured just after 5:00 p.m. Friday evening. Both were taken to the hospital, according to Huffpost Chicago.

Currently, elderly drivers account for about 20 percent of all motorists on U.S. roadways, according to the Government Accountability Office. That number isn’t expected to shrink any time soon. Those who make up the first wave of the baby-boom generation celebrated their 65th birthdays this year.

“The number of older drivers on the road is definitely a concern, and their number can’t help but increase in the years ahead, due to the aging of the population,” said Lisa D’Ambrosio, a research scientist at the MIT AgeLab.

If you’re worried about your parents driving abilities, you’re not alone. The Hartford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab, reports that nearly 1 out of every 10 adults are concerned about an older family member’s driving.

An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study determined the following about drivers and intersection accidents:

-Nearly 60 percent of drivers 80-years-old and older neglect to yield at intersections.

-Nearly 40 precent of those age 70- to 79-years-old fail to yield at intersections.

-Only 26 percent of drivers that are age 35- to 54-year-old don’t yield at stop signs.

“We know that having that first conversation with an older parent is going to be a difficult one, because driving is so intrinsic to our sense of independence and autonomy,” said D’Ambrosio. “So many of us are dependent on driving, especially in regions where public transportation does not exist, or is inconvenient, or runs irregularly. There is also a concern about what the transportation alternatives might be if an older person has to stop driving.”

Should you ask your parent turn in their keys for good. MSN recommends you ask yourself these question. Yes answers means you should talk with you parent:

-Have they suffered a stroke, heart attack or diminished eyesight?

-Have they experienced any difficulty negotiating sharp turns and intersections?

-Do they hesitate over right-of-way decisions?

-Are they oftentimes surprised by the sudden presence of other vehicles or pedestrians?

-Are they getting lost on familiar routes?

We understand that talking with your loved ones about when they need to stop driving may be hard on you, but it is important that you do this for their safety. If you avoid the conversation, you’re only putting them at an increased risk for experiencing a car accident that could potentially end their life prematurely.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

Pedestrian killed, 2 others injured in Chicago taxicab accident, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 6, 2011

Safe Driver Act of 2011 Could Increase Distracted Driving Laws in Illinois, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 1, 2011

Red-Light Cameras in Chicago – Saving Lives or Stealing Money?, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 8, 2011

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