December 6 – 10, 2021 marks Older Driver Safety Awareness Week! In honor of this week, Angel Reyes – Reyes Browne Reilley is keeping motorists everywhere informed and educated on tips that will help keep everyone on the roadways safe. As Americans advance and our lifespans extend, drivers are staying on the roads longer, and adults are able to keep mobile and independent. We cannot loose sight of the fact that the risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle collision increases as people advance in age. Therefore, it is so important that families keep a close eye on their aging loved ones’ driving capabilities and habits.
Warning Signs of Unsafe Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, 7,214 people age 65 and older were killed in motor vehicle collisions. Here are twenty signs you and your family can look out for when assessing members’ driving abilities:
- Drifting into other lanes.
- Straddling lanes.
- Making sudden lane changes.
- Ignoring or missing stop signs and traffic signals.
- Increased confusion while driving in traffic.
- Braking or stopping abruptly without cause.
- Accelerating suddenly without reason.
- Coasting to a near stop amid moving traffic.
- Pressing simultaneously on the brake and accelerator pedals while driving.
- Difficulty seeing pedestrians, objects and other vehicles.
- Experience increasing levels of anxiety while driving.
- Driving significantly slower than the posted speed limit or general speed of other vehicles.
- Backing up after missing an exit or turn.
- Difficulty reacting quickly and/or processing multiple and simultaneous actions.
- Problems with back/neck flexibility and turning to see traffic/hazards around the car.
- Getting lost or disoriented easily, even in familiar places.
- Failing to use turn signals or keeping signals on without changing lanes.
- Several “close calls” and “near misses.”
- Receipt of two or more traffic citations or warnings in the past two years.
- Dents and scrapes on their car or on surrounding objects where they drive and park at home, such as fences, mailboxes, garage doors and curbs.
These types of unsafe driving habits are not limited to older drivers by any means, but do indicate a motorist may be unfit to operate their vehicle as they normally have. It’s important to understand that aging is a process – and like aging, adjustments can be made over a period of time to adapt and cater to new needs. It is possible to maintain independence while keeping everyone safe.
Drivers age 79 and Older
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) discusses requiring regular driver license renewal requirements, and at the age of 79, individuals must renew their drivers license in-person at their local office. This occurs again at 85 years of age, and then every two years there after. The in-person renewal examines:
- Vision test
- Medical history evaluation to determine if any additional testing is required
It is necessary communities take the right steps to ensure all licensed drivers are in good physical and medical condition, have the ability to operate a vehicle safely, and can follow all traffic laws and rules.
Older Drivers’ Personal Injury Attorney
Recognizing changes in driving habits and capabilities is the first step in keeping everyone on the road safe. Collaborating to support older drivers’ goals, and the needs of the community for safe, accessible transportation makes it possible for older motorists to make adjustments based on their bodys’ needs.
Angel Reyes – Reyes Browne Reilley recognizes that Americans today are healthier and more active than ever before. What’s more, seniors are outliving their ability to drive safely by an average of seven to ten years, and senior drivers are among the safest drivers on the road. Boomers are by far more likely to wear seatbelts, not drink and drive, and obey speed limits; however, are more likely to be injured or killed due to age-related fragility. To learn more, contact us immediately for a 100% free consultation. Tap above to call us, or submit a form here now.