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Older Drivers and Car Accidents, Part II

In our last blog post, we discussed the challenges older drivers face and the difficult decision to stop driving. Yet, not all elderly drivers need to take that step yet. How can older drivers continue to drive safely? How do they know it is time to stop driving before they cause a car accident?

The CDC recommends these tips to “stay safe on the road:”

  • Discuss your medications with your doctor and whether they will affect your driving
  • Have your eyes checked at least once a year
  • Drive in good weather and during the day
  • Review your directions multiple times before leaving your house
  • Turn off cell phones and avoid other distractions
  • Consider using public transportation
  • Exercise often to retain both physical and mental strength

If you are an older driver and you begin to have trouble remembering directions, reacting to sudden road events or otherwise driving safely, speak with your doctor about your ability to drive.

Injured by an Older Driver?

The film we discussed in our last blog post — Old People Driving — highlights a 2003 Santa Monica car accident that killed 10 people and injured at least 60 others. In that accident, an 86-year-old man ran through a barricade and straight into an open-air market.

It is considered one of the worst pedestrian accidents to have occurred in the U.S., and certainly the worst accident in Santa Monica history. Both the driver and the city of Santa Monica were held accountable in civil lawsuits for that accident – Santa Monica settled the case for $21 million.

If you have been involved in a car accident caused by an older driver, you can bring a personal injury claim against him or her. Yet, it is important that you determine what caused the accident since there are many cases where the driver’s age was simply not a factor. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you evaluate all potential causes of the accident and bring a robust claim for compensation.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Older Adult Drivers: Get the Facts,” Jan. 31, 2013