Chicago injury lawyers encourage families to talk with older drivers

The Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes urge seniors and those concerned about an older loved one’s ability to drive to get the facts and talk about the importance of keeping our older drivers safe.

Older Americans represent the largest and fastest growing segment of our population. And, while not everyone is the same, research shows that reflexes and driving ability deteriorate steadily after age 55 and can be exacerbated by loss of eyesight and hearing and other health problems, including arthritis.

Additionally, as we grow older we are considerably less able to deal with the trauma of a serious accident — research shows fatality rates are 17 times higher for seniors involved in a serious car accident.

AAA launched a new website last month — www.aaaseniors.com. The site provides families of older drivers with valuable information related to senior mobility challenges, as well as tools to help extend safe driving and/or assist in difficult discussions about transitioning older family members from a driving lifestyle.

“According to our research, many adult children of older drivers – the ‘sandwich’ boomers – are unaware that resources exist to effectively address the safety and mobility challenges of senior drivers,” said Brad Roeber AAA Chicago’s Regional President. “AAASeniors.com gives seniors and their families the tools necessary to create an action plan to help seniors manage the inevitable consequences of aging, continue to drive safely or transition to alternative modes of transportation, and remain independent.”

The site includes:

-Advice on how aging affects one’s ability to drive safely.

-A step-by-step guide on how to begin a conversation with an older driver about working together to develop a plan for the transition from driver to passenger.

– A variety of tools and resources from educational brochures and driver improvement courses, to tips on choosing a vehicle, to skill assessment tools and free community-based programs.

“Many adult children, grandchildren and seniors will at some point be faced with a difficult decision about a mature adult’s ability to drive safely,” said Dr. Alexis Abramson, one of the nation’s leading gerontologists. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to be proactive in developing a plan of action based on factual, compassionate and objective information, such as that found at AAASeniors.com.”

About Senior Drivers:

How Many In 1995 there were 16.5 million licensed drivers over 70 years old―a 47 percent increase from 1985.

Driving Habits Older adults wear safety belts more often than any other age group except infants and preschool children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most older drivers recognize and avoid situations where their limitations put them at risk. They drive less after dark, during rush hour, or in bad weather, and they may avoid difficult roads or intersections, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Older adult drivers are less likely to drink and drive than other adult drivers, according to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2005.

Safety Record Older drivers become more accident-prone with age, even though they drive less. Because older drivers are more fragile, their fatality rates are 17 times higher than those ages 25 to 64 .
The accident rate per mile driven rises steadily for drivers 65 and older, and those drivers are involved in more accidents per mile driven than any other age group except teenagers.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a Chicago car accident, the personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free consultations to discuss your rights. There is no fee unless you win. Call (866) 99-ABELS.