Senior Drivers: 3 easy tips to avoid car accidents and stay safe on the road

We recently reported on driving tips for teenage drivers, but senior drivers need just as much advice to stay current and safe on the road, and timing couldn’t be any better since next week is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week.

Other than teenagers, senior citizens are the most likely group of drivers to be killed behind the wheel, according to The New York Times. But, elderly drivers are also doing surprisingly better than before. The New York Times reports that “while highway deaths have dropped across the board, the decline in fatal crash involvement from 1997 to 2006 for drivers over 70 was much greater — 37 percent — than it was among drivers ages 35 to 54.”

These findings may explain why senior citizens have the highest fatal auto accident rate per mile of any age group except teenagers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If a car accident does occur, an elderly driver has a greater chance for sustaining age-related personal injury. That’s why it’s never been more important to encourage elderly drivers to stay safe on the road. However, be aware that conversations about defensive driving can spur emotional reactions from some elderly drivers. We recommend using these tips as a constructive communication tools for you and your family.

#1 – Older drivers can sign up for CarFit

CarFit is a practical way for elderly drivers to find out if their daily driver is the right match for their lifestyle. This educational program is designed to address the comfort and safety of the older driver in their vehicle, therefore reducing personal injury occurring from car accidents.

#2 – Consider installing a driver assistance device

A device such as the Roadside Review by AAA can privately assess an individual’s functional abilities while behind the wheel. This device can also call for roadside assistance almost instantly, designating the driver’s location automatically instead of fumbling for a cell phone device and having to describe the location.

#3 – Computer-savvy drivers can take a software-based defensive driving course

Taking a software-based course in defensive driving can be beneficial for both the driver and the car insurance company: the driver can earn a insurance rate discount for taking an approved course, and the insurance company can rest assured their driver is driving safer on the road. A software program such as DriveSharp can help drivers of all ages develop good driving habits. This popular program can speed up visual processing, decreases reaction time, and cut at-fault crash risk by 50%, according to The Los Angeles Times.

If you’re an elderly driver involved in a car accident, turn to an experienced San Diego car accident attorney for a case evaluation. Rest assured, our consultations are free and private—contact us today.

Michael Pines, APCAbout

Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who specializes in car accident injury. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes on how insurance companies work and how they decided to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael's inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents.

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