Elderly Car Accidents: A Problem that Needs to be Addressed in Georgia
Each day, the population as a whole gets older. In fact, in 2016 the population of individuals over the age of 65 increased to 49.2 million, from just 35 million in the year 2000. This increase means that 15.2 percent of the country’s entire population is made up of individuals over the age of 65. Most people have seen first-hand the effects of aging on their grandparents, parents and other elderly people in their lives. One of the things that is especially affected with age is the ability a person has to drive safely.
There are a number of safety and health analysts who have indicted that there’s a link present between older drivers and car accidents. This may also be due to the fact that there are more older drivers on the road today, than there has ever been in the past.
The Influx of Older Drivers in Georgia
Older drivers today are operating vehicles much longer than they should. This is because many are trying to cling to the sense of independence that driving provides. Unfortunately, on the flip side of this, they have also begun to cause more accidents in the state of Georgia, and across the nation.
The Washington, DC based, non-profit transportation research group – TRIP – has recently released new information regarding mobility and safety in older drivers. This report, which was titled “Keeping Baby Boomers Mobile: Preserving Mobility and Safety for Older Americans,” covers the states that have the highest total number of fatal crashes that involve an older driver.
Georgia: Ranked 12 for Fatal Car Accidents Involving the Elderly
According to the above-mentioned report from TRIP, the state of Georgia is ranked 12th in the total number of drivers over the age of 65; however, the state is ranked fifth for the most drivers over the age of 65 that were involved in a fatal crash in 2010.
In that same year (2010), there were a total of 5,750 traffic fatalities across the nation that involved at least one of the drivers being over the age of 65. In fact, drivers who are 65 years of age or older account for eight percent of all miles driven and they make up 17 percent of all the fatal car accidents in the state of Georgia and across the United States.
Improving the Problem: What Can Georgia Do?
If lawmakers in the state of Georgia want to take a stand and make the roads a safer place for all motorists, they should do the following:
- Make roads safer: This should include putting larger letting on brighter and clearer signage, along with brighter street markings and making the length of merging lanes and exit lanes longer.
- Drivers need to be safer: It’s important for older drivers to be evaluated for ongoing licensing and there needs to be training programs along with education for elderly drivers.
- Safer vehicles: It’s important for vehicle manufacturers to make vehicles safer and stronger so they are able to better withstand crashes.
- Improved choices and options: It’s important for alternate transportation options to be available for the elderly so they can still get around.
As you can see, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of accidents involving elderly individuals. The key is for lawmakers, officials and even family members of elderly individuals to take action. Doing so will help make the road safer for everyone.
If you were involved in a car accident of any type and need legal help, reach out to the lawyers at Schnipper Law, P.C. by calling (404) 458-9507.
For More Information
The Shocking Increase in Car Accident Deaths in Georgia: Numbers Don’t Lie