We all have aging loved ones. Whether it’s a parent, grandparent, or sibling, no one wants to be the one to tell them that they shouldn’t be driving anymore. Oftentimes, driving is one of the few ways elders can maintain their freedom and sense of independence. Although some elders may be healthy in general, our reaction times naturally slow as we age. When someone is behind the wheel, we can’t afford for our reaction times to be subpar.
When you’re injured in a car accident caused by an elderly person, the question of whether they still can drive should be addressed. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer in Boca Raton at Baker Legal Team can investigate your accident and determine if you have a viable case. If so, you may be able to pursue compensation for any damages or other losses you incurred.
Statistics on Car Accidents and Elderly Drivers
In 2017, nearly 7,700 adults aged 65 and over were in fatal car accidents. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), drivers 65 and older accounted for 10 percent of all car accidents in 2015. With over 3 million elders, Florida ranks first among U.S. states for fatal elderly driving–related car accidents.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that elders aged 75 and over have a higher chance of being involved in an accident than adults aged 35 to 45 due to the former group typically having degenerative health conditions such as vision loss, hearing loss, restricted mobility, and reduced cognitive function. This poses a significant threat to not only elders on the road, but to all who share the roads in Boca Raton.
Elderly Drivers in Boca Raton, Florida
Florida driving laws and regulations apply to all who share the road. However, the state of Florida does have a few restrictions intact for elder drivers. Specifically, drivers ages 80 and over are legally required to renew their licenses every six years. Elders 79 and younger have eight years. At the time of renewal, FLHSMV enforces that elders undergo a vision test at the DMV or have a licensed doctor perform one. Based on this assessment, the FLHSMV can place conditions on the elder’s driving privileges, such as requiring:
● Glasses or hearing aids
● An exterior left rear view mirror
● No driving a night
● No manual transmission
● A knob or grip on the steering wheel
● Seat cushions
In addition, drivers in Florida must have a 20/70 or better eye acuity in both eyes to operate a motor vehicle, and they must have license and vision tests performed annually. A competent attorney can help collect information regarding the negligent driver’s health condition and driving record to determine if these factors were related to the cause of your accident.
What Causes Elderly Drivers to Crash in Boca Raton?
Boca Raton has one of the highest elderly populations in Florida, being a hub for retirement and nursing homes. As the aging population continues to rise, this issue of elderly-related car accidents becomes more prominent. While several different factors can cause an elder to crash, the most common causes of elder-related car accidents include:
● Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
● Driving too slowly
● Brake checking
● Underestimated stopping distances
● Driving on the wrong side of the road
● Driving at night
● Driving in bad weather conditions
● Failing to yield the right of way
● Making improper turns
Elders, as well as their families, should be actively assessing their loved one’s ability to drive safely. If an elderly person willingly drives when they know that their abilities are hindered, they are acting negligently and should be held accountable for their actions.
Contact a Boca Raton Car Accident Attorney for Help Today
At Baker Legal Team, we have the resources and skills necessary to handle your elderly car accident case. We understand that you may be hesitant to seek counsel when an elder caused your accident, but the law doesn’t change just because we age. Everyone that shares the road has a duty to act responsibly and within the law.
Robert B. Baker of Baker Legal Team is a Board-Certified personal injury attorney with 30 years of success under his belt. He has helped thousands of car accident victims recuperate after the devastation they endured. When you reach out to Robert for advice, you will have a personal advocate on your side from start to finish. Call (561) 320-000 or complete a contact form today to learn more about your car accident case.