Unexpected Ways Older Drivers Get Involved in Fatal Accidents
Senior citizens get involved in car accidents in more ways than you realize. Learn the risks, and how you can keep yourself safe.
You’ve heard the stats.
Teens and senior citizens are the most dangerous and vulnerable drivers.
But, what may surprise you about older drivers is the nature of the accidents they find themselves involved in.
Take a look at the below to understand what I mean:
Motorcycle Fatalities Have Skyrocketed
Some driving instructors jokingly call these adrenaline-inducing vehicles “murdercycles.”
But just how dangerous are they?
According to 2015 data from the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities among older drivers increased an astounding 142% from 2006-2015.
Take action: Of course, you guarantee your safety if you don’t even own a motorcycle. But, we’re probably not going to get you to do that.
The leading causes of motorcycle accident fatalities include cars making left turns, lane splitting, the motorcyclist speeding or driving under the influence, and motorcyclists hitting road hazards or fixed objects.
Wear protective gear, stay out of blind spots, drive a safe distance from cars, wear bright or reflective safety gear, add reflective tape, consider a headlight modulator that makes your headlight flicker, use running lights, lay on the horn, and use hand signals to make yourself hard not to notice.
Bicycle Fatalities Have Increased for Seniors Too
This one’s nowhere near as dramatic as motorcycles. But, bicycle fatalities did increase 10% for older Americans from 2006-2015 (8% for men and 38% for women).
Bikes are fun and far safer. But they come with some risk too.
Take action: The leading causes of bicyclist fatalities include motorists pulling out far enough to block the biker’s right of way (the “right cross”), a motorist not seeing the biker in the bike lane as they turn right (the “right hook”), a driver opening their car door in front of the bicyclist, and getting rear-ended.
Make yourself as obviously visible as you know how. This includes using a headlight at night, running a flashing light (even during the day), wearing reflective gear, and making eye contact with drivers so you know they see you.
Older Drivers Do Not Drive Under the Influence (For the Most Part)
Of all age groups, older drivers have by far the lowest rate of DUI-caused fatalities. 2012 NHTSA data reveals just 9% of all fatal DUI accidents involve drivers 65-74. That number falls to 5% for those 75+.
74% of fatalities involving older drivers happen during the day. And 70% happen on weekdays.
Take action: Mayo Clinic recommends staying physically active to keep your strength and flexibility sharp, scheduling vision and hearing tests (confirm the frequency with your doctor), managing your chronic health conditions if you have any, and recognizing your own limitations.
Yes. Seniors have their own vulnerabilities to automobile wrecks.
And now that you know and understand them, plus the actions to stay safe, you can minimize your chances of becoming a statistic.