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Accidents more dangerous for older adult drivers

New Jersey residents may not know that nearly 36 million people around the country of the age of 65 and over had driver’s licenses in 2012, which was 34 percent higher than in 1999. A study has shown that the risk of an auto accident becoming fatal increases by age, starting at the age of 70. This is mainly due to the increased risk of medical complications and bodily injury as the body ages instead of an increased risk of being in an accident.

Older drivers are generally safer drivers overall. Only 66 percent of vehicle occupants between the ages of 18 and 64 were wearing their seat belts when fatal accidents occurred in 2012 while 79 percent of occupants 65 and over were using them. Older drivers are much less likely to have a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08 than younger drivers, and they also tend to avoid driving during inclement weather or at night.

Drivers can try to reduce their risk of death or serious injury in accidents as they age by ensuring that they stay healthy. This could include regular exercise and proper medical care. Maintaining good eyesight and reducing drug interactions and side effects can also reduce the risk of accidents. Finally, planning the route ahead of time and only driving during the day in good conditions can drastically reduce visibility issues that may cause accidents.

Anybody injured in a motor vehicle accident may wish to speak with an attorney before accepting a settlement offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. An attorney could help to negotiate a more favorable settlement with the insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Damages that are often sought in such a civil action include the costs of required medical care as well as compensation for any wages lost as a result of not being able to work while recovering.

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