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Older Driver Safety week highlights risks of car accidents involving seniors from Fort Lauderdale to Fort Pierce

In support of Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, West Palm Beach car accident attorneys want to take time to remind you to be patient to other vehicles on the roadways, especially if they are occupied by elderly drivers.

Florida has mandatory laws for elderly drivers. Caring.com points out that once you turn 80 you must start getting a vision test every year in order to maintain a driver’s license. It’s standard for all drivers to renew their license every 4-6 years in which a vision, written, or road test may be required if they show signs of mental or physical anguish.
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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2008 elderly drivers made up for 15% of traffic fatalities, and 18% of pedestrian fatalities. Elderly is classified as people who are 65 and over which made up 13% of the total population in 2008. Florida reported 474 (or 11.2%) fatal crashes in 2008 involving drivers age 65 and over which was the most in any state.

The report showed that older drivers are less likely to drive intoxicated, or not wear their seat belts than younger drivers, or the fatality rate would likely be much higher.

The National Safety Council is promoting this week as Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. In an effort to promote safety they give the following tips when it comes to assessing an elderly driver:

-Check the vehicle they drive for dents and scratches to see if you find any indications of an accident or bumping into other obstacles likes trees or garage doors.

-Suggest going for a drive with them and see if they hesitate to get in the car and drive.

-Create several opportunities to ride with them so you can observe their reaction time and awareness to things around them.

-Don’t be afraid to ask other friends or family members if they have noticed erratic or dangerous driving behaviors when riding with the elderly person.

-Talk to the elderly driver about how they feel when they are driving in the car – stressed, impatient, hesitant, angry, etc.

If you or someone you know has been in a car accident in West Palm Beach or the surrounding areas, contact Freeman & Mallard for a free consultation at 1-800-LAW CENTERS (529-2368).

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