Elderly drivers pose safety risks

Anyone who has an older parent or a grandparent that they take care of knows that as your loved one ages, driving becomes more difficult. It also becomes more dangerous, according to accident data gathered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Car accident rates increase significantly after a driver turns 70, and even more dramatically after 80. Besides teens, drivers who are 80 or older have the highest rate of collision per mile of any group. The fatality rate of those collisions is the highest of any group.

Car accidents in intersections make up about half of all fatalities for drivers 85 and older. Drivers in their 70s tend to misjudge whether it is safe to proceed, while drivers in their 80s often fail to see the other vehicle.

Especially in Wisconsin, where commutes between home and the grocery store can be long, and driving conditions can become dangerous in the winter, elderly drivers are at a higher risk than other drivers of injury or death. Unlike over half of the country, Wisconsin does not have any special safety provisions for licensing older drivers.

There are many sad stories of older drivers who have been injured or killed in a car accident. Often, they are not the only hurt. Mental and physical disabilities can cause older drivers to inadvertently hit obstacles that a younger driver would be able to safely avoid.

If you or someone you know has been injured by an elderly driver, contact a Michigan attorney to find out what your options are.

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