Bradenton is a densely populated residential area in Florida, known for its beautiful surroundings, commercial center, and good weather. A large proportion of Bradenton’s demographic is made up of senior residents, with around 11,400 residents (23%) over the age of 65. By 2030 it is estimated that around a quarter of all drivers in Florida will be 65 or older.
Unfortunately, many elderly drivers are no longer safe on the roads. This can be due to factors such as slower reactions, worsening vision, and impaired hearing. As a result, many of the car accidents that occur in the State of Florida (estimated at 400,000 crashes in 2018) are caused by older drivers.
If you or a loved one has been injured in Bradenton in a car accident that wasn’t your fault that involved an elderly driver, then it is within your rights to take legal action. With over 75 years of combined experience in situations like yours, The Law Place can provide you with professional advice and information.
Our law firm has personal injury lawyers that can help you. Call The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 today to speak to a personal injury attorney and organize a free case evaluation. Our phones are open 24/7.
How Common Are Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers?
Being a safe driver relies on key physical, visual, and cognitive skills. Unfortunately, these capacities often deteriorate as we age, reducing our ability to drive safely.
According to data from the U.S Department of Transportation, when we account for miles traveled in a vehicle, fatal crash rates are highest among drivers aged 85 and over. This rate starts to increase when a driver reaches 70 years old. One of the biggest reasons for this is the increased likelihood of elderly drivers incurring injuries or medical complications in a motor accident.
A report by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that a person over the age of 65 is statistically more likely to cause a car accident than a person of a younger age. It further revealed that fatalities involving people aged 65 and over rose by 3% between 2006 and 2015.
More often than not, losses incurred after a car accident, such as medical bills and lost wages, will not be covered by personal injury protection. Contact our personal injury attorneys at The Law Place today to receive no-obligation legal advice.
Common Causes of Car Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers
The effects of aging on our bodies and minds can, sadly, have serious impacts on ourselves and those around us. A decline in information processing and driving ability begins around the age of 55, and older drivers are more likely to be suffering from age-related impairments to their vision and hearing.
Other health conditions common to aging people include arthritis, a condition that 50% of sufferers report affects their driving. On top of that, prescribed medication for such health conditions can result in side effects such as drowsiness. This could reduce the driver’s reaction times and make them slower to react in a potential crash situation.
Other conditions that are more common among elderly drivers and that could impact one’s ability to drive safely include:
- Heart attack.
- Alzheimer’s disease.
- Macular degeneration.
- Parkinson’s disease.
At What Point Is It No Longer Safe to Drive?
Driving is an important means of independence for older people, as well as people of any age, to remain active members of society. But being a driver, no matter your age, means you have a duty of care to everyone on the road. Elderly drivers, like everyone else, are expected to follow the rules and regulations of the road. With age, it becomes more likely that a driver will put themselves or others on the road at risk of a traffic accident.
If you are reflecting on your ability to drive in your later years, it is important to bear in mind a few key factors. The question of whether it is viable and safe to continue driving, or whether you should consider alternative transport options is an important decision that we must all make in our later years. It might be time to retire from driving as a primary transport method if one or more of the following applies:
- Driving makes you feel scared or anxious.
- You have noticeably slower reaction times.
- You have problems hearing car horns or emergency sirens.
- You have memory issues, for example, forgetting routes that used to be very familiar.
- You struggle to see signs, lights, signals, or other cars clearly.
- You suffer from any medical ailments which make driving difficult or painful.
- You struggle with the fundamentals of driving, for example, braking or accelerating suddenly without cause, or you drift between lanes.
How Can You Reduce the Car Accident Risk in Bradenton, FL?
Many older drivers will have passed their test in a time when roads were less busy, and there weren’t as many distractions, such as mobile phones. Therefore, they may not be up to date with the most current safety advice and regulations.
Most drivers must, by law, renew their driving license once every eight years. Once drivers are above the age of 80, they must renew it every six years. On top of these license renewals, drivers might also have to pass an eyesight test to make sure that their vision is of the standard required to drive a vehicle.
To ensure safe driving from the age of 65 onwards, the following points should be considered:
- Stay aware and vigilant of the road – Follow any vehicle in front of you from a safe distance, ensure you overtake in a safe and legal way, and stay inside the speed limits when you are driving in Bradenton.
- Have your hearing and eyesight checked once a year – It is highly recommended by specialists that you ensure that any hearing or eyesight prescriptions you have are up to date. When driving, make sure you always wear your hearing aid, glasses, or contact lenses as required.
- Reduce distraction from items such as phones or navigation devices – Pullover to a safe place if you need to use your phone. Avoid any activities that will divert your attention from the road or will take your hands off the steering wheel, such as eating, drinking, or changing radio stations.
- Wear a seatbelt – This is a legal requirement as stated in Florida Statute 316.614, and can be vital to limiting injury in the case of an accident.
- Don’t drive if you are or have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol – This also includes any medication with the potential for negative side effects. Ensure that you speak to your physician about how they could impact your driving ability.
- Don’t drive tired – Tiredness can result in a decrease in alertness, difficulty focusing, and slower reaction times.
- Avoid driving in unfavorable conditions – For example, driving in the dark, in poor weather conditions, or during rush hours. Driving in any of these conditions increases your chances of an accident.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident in Bradenton that wasn’t your fault, you could be eligible for compensation. Contact our personal injury lawyers at The Law Place today for a free case evaluation.
Liability in a Bradenton Vehicle Accident Case
With regards to liability in accidents that involve elderly drivers, legal cases are addressed in a similar way to any other accident. According to the law, the driver can be liable for injury and damages to others as the result of careless driving. Additionally, if the vehicle driven by the older person was owned by someone else, then a third party could also be liable.
The adult in question could be liable according to the following legal terms:
- Negligent entrustment – This term highlights the fact that a vehicle owner should be conscious of a driver’s inexperience or other potential behaviors that could be regarded as unsafe, and, by extension, the potential risk this poses if they allow them to use the vehicle. If there is evidence, for example, that a vehicle owner let a senior person drive while aware that this person had a medical condition that could make their driving unsafe, then the car owner could be liable for negligent entrustment.
- Dangerous instrumentality – The law highlights that vehicles are considered to be dangerous by nature, and so the owner can be held liable for injuries caused by negligent use, regardless of whether the owner wasn’t the one driving, so long as they had given permission to the negligent party for them to drive it. This does not apply in certain exceptions, specifically with rental vehicle use, vehicles in the process of a sale, and vehicles undergoing repairs in garages.
If neither of these legal terms applies to your case, then the driver of the vehicle will be deemed the primary at-fault party. If you were in an auto accident in Florida that wasn’t your fault, and that has caused you suffering, cost you expensive medical bills, or caused a loss of wages, then you could be entitled to compensation. Contact one of our experienced accident attorneys at The Law Place at Bradenton, FL., today to receive a free case evaluation.
Auto Accident Attorney in Bradenton
If you have had an accident in Bradenton that involved an elderly driver, they could try to blame you. Lots of older drivers will fear that an accident could result in them losing their license and, as a result, their sense of independence. These types of disputes are common in Bradenton and the rest of Florida, and many people find it difficult to pressure an elderly person into accepting blame and liability.
Insurance companies are likely to try to deal with car accident cases such as this in a discreet way, where they might devalue your claim and pressure you to accept as fast as possible. For this reason, at The Law Place, we always highly recommend that you find a personal injury lawyer to represent you in these types of cases.
Although insurance companies might seem friendly, you should remember that they will always, first and foremost, be looking out for their own interests. Therefore, even if you are sure that the other driver was at fault, you should try to avoid talking to their insurance company about the case as much as possible.
What Will The Law Place Do for Me?
Once you decide to contact our law firm about a motor accident that occurred in Bradenton, FL., we will arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers. During this consultation, they will talk to you about your accident and evaluate how much compensation you might be entitled to on account of damages, pain, and suffering caused by the crash.
After your free consultation, you can decide if you want to hire our law firm. If you do, another meeting will be arranged with one of our personal injury lawyers, who will discuss your accident with you in as much detail as possible. If you agree to go forward with the claim, your lawyer will take charge of the case. They will liaise with all the parties involved in the accident and collect all relevant evidence.
Here at The Law Place in Bradenton, FL., we understand how stressful traffic accidents can be, which is why we work on a contingency basis. You won’t pay anything upfront, and any fees incurred will be deducted from the final settlement. This means that if your case is unsuccessful, you won’t be charged.
Call The Law Place Today
If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident in Bradenton caused by an elderly driver, you could be entitled to compensation. With over 75 years of combined experience, our personal injury lawyers at The Law Place are here to help. Call The Law Place in Bradenton, FL., today on (941) 444-4444 to start your claim.