Willens Law Offices Articles Elderly Drivers and Their Increased Risk of a Chicago Car Accident

Elderly Drivers and Their Increased Risk of a Chicago Car Accident

By Matthew Willens  Dec. 30, 2015 10:14a

Across the United States, senior citizens only account for around 9% of the population, yet according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) they are responsible for 14% of all traffic accidents that result in a fatality, and 17% of fatal pedestrian accidents. If an elderly driver was the cause behind your injury causing car accident, a Chicago car accident attorney could help you in determining if they are liable for paying for your expenses.

Not all Chicago residents over the age of 65 are unsafe drivers. In fact, there are some studies that suggest that elderly drivers under the age of 85 cause less accidents on the road than teen drivers do. This changes at age 85, when statistics show an increase of over four times for the likelihood that they will cause a fatal accident compared to a teen driver.

The Real Issue Behind the Elderly and Car Accidents

Most experts are in agreement that the real issue is not necessarily age, but the cognitive function and physical capabilities of the elderly driver. We all age at different rates, and have to deal with different symptoms. Some of which may affect the ability to drive, such as dementia or loss of eyesight, while others like hair loss and wrinkles will have no bearing on the increased risk of an accident. This creates a problem for Chicago lawmakers, who strive to keep all drivers safe with laws and regulations. But at the same time they have a responsibility not to infringe on the rights of any Chicago citizen.

What do you do if you've been hurt in an auto accident? You need to consult with a Chicago car accident lawyer who will look at the elderly driver from an unbiased vantage point to discern if their age was the reason for the collision. They may ask for certain medical documents to see if there were any warning signs that the individual had reached a point where they should have not been permitted to drive anymore. They will then look beyond the elderly driver to see if medical professionals and family members took all the necessary steps to ensure that the elderly driver was not able to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Of course these are difficult decisions for family members to have to make, especially when it comes to decreasing the independence of their loved one. Yet, they do have a certain responsibility to ensure the safety of others who could happen to be on the road at the same time.

These are complicated issues, and an attorney will need to deal with them with understanding and compassion. No one wants to be the person who is behind stripping someone of their right to drive, but in the interest of all Chicago citizens, this is sometimes a consequence an elderly driver will have to face after causing a car accident.

Discuss your options with a Chicago lawyer Mathew Willens after being involved in a car accident with an elderly driver. Not only could you receive compensation for the injuries and financial losses you sustained, you could make a family aware that it is time to start driving their loved one wherever they need to go.

Call (312) 957-4166 to speak with an experienced attoreny at Willens Law Offices.

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