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Spring a dangerous time for Fort Lauderdale car accidents involving older adults

By this time, snow birds have migrated so Florida motorists are reminded that it is high time for heavy traffic and the most dangerous time of year on South Florida roads. Our person injury lawyers in Fort Lauderdale are taking the time to remind drivers of the dangers faced this time of year in a series of blogs about dangerous driving behaviors.

Previously reported blogs have touched on speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, and teens.

Our final topic about the older-driver population concludes the series.

High traffic congestion can leave senior drivers (over 65 years old) stressed and agitated. AAA Seniors notes the most common factors in older driver car accidents in West Palm Beach and elsewhere are:

-Failure to pay attention.

-Confusion in the midst of heavy traffic.

-Making left turns when not permitted.

-Driving too slow or too fast in comparison with the speed limit.

-Slowed response to new traffic signals and signs, or markings on the roadway.

-Failure to yield the right of way to other drivers.

In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 13% of the total U.S. population was over the age of 64. It was reported that 16% of all traffic fatalities and 19% of all pedestrian fatalities were people ages 65 and older.

It should also be noted that in 2-vehicle crashes between an older driver and a younger driver for that year, elderly drivers were 1.7 times more likely to be the victim rather than the at-fault motorist. Alcohol is very rarely detected in older-driver vehicle crashes but more often the driver is male.

The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported over 400 older adult (65 and over) fatalities in motor vehicle crashes in 2009. And the age of victims seems to be climbing for older adult drivers; it was reported that 12 drivers fatally injured in 2009 Florida crashes were ages 90 or over.

As we age, our bodies change. Elderly drivers, despite changes in health, cling to their keys to refrain from giving up their independence. Many don’t know or want to admit when it is time to stop driving. The following are some tips to follow as our health declines and driving becomes more difficult:

-Change in medications can affect driving ability – consult with a doctor to make sure side effects don’t affect driving.

-Annual hearing and vision tests should be performed. Glasses and hearing aids should be worn while driving if prescribed by a doctor.

-Tiredness affects driving ability so never drive if you feel groggy.

-Modify positions in your vehicle if mirrors or seats make it difficult to operate your vehicle.

-Only drive on familiar roads during daylight hours.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a South Florida car accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez. Call 1-800-529-2368 for a free case evaluation to discuss your rights.

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