Imagine shopping at your favorite La Jolla store when – BAM! – a vehicle crashes through the building. It’s a frightening thought but for some La Jolla residents, it was exactly what happened earlier this month when an elderly driver careened through a local liquor store.
According to La Jolla Light (3/16/2015), the senior citizen struck a city trash can along route through the store causing it to shatter into multiple pieces. Reports say that debris went flying through the air, eventually striking a pedestrian.
Both the driver and the pedestrian were treated for injuries at a local hospital. Fortunately, officials say all individuals are expected to survive and there were no other known injuries.
Police believe the accident occurred as a result of the elderly driver’s confusion over the brake and accelerator. Officials believe the driver accidentally depressed the accelerator after exiting a nearby gas station, sending the vehicle into uncontrollable motion and directly into the liquor shop located near the station.
ELDERLY DRIVERS: WHAT’S ON THE LINE?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported in 2012 that there are nearly 23 million drivers aged 70 and older on our roadways. That’s about 11 percent of all drivers out there. Of course, it goes without saying that the many of these drivers are perfectly safe, capable drivers. And, the good news is that fatal car accidents are on the decline for older drivers since the 2000s.
But the truth is that some elderly drivers are more prone to accidents such as “angle crashes, overtaking or merging crashes, and especially intersection crashes” according to the IIHS.
It helps to stay proactive when it comes to aging and driving. If you’re an elderly driver, or if you know someone who is, consider using the following elderly driving safety tips:
GET A PHYSICAL EXAM… & SEEK TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES IF YOU MUST
It doesn’t hurt to get a yearly physical exam if you aren’t already. Check in with your doctor and get a second option about your driving and driving options. If your doctor feels it is best to seek alternative options, there are many modern options out there including carpooling, shuttles and even Uber! Fortunately, there are many options for getting around. Do your due diligence and find a transportation option that works for you.
STAY PHYSICALLY ACTIVE
The IIHS reported that elderly drivers are often injured on account of their frailty. Stay in good shape not only for longevity but in the unfortunate event you get into an accident and need strength to recover. Talk to your doctor about a fitness routine that’s best suited for your current health and lifestyle.
GET YOUR EYES AND EARS CHECKED
The truth is that our body parts can fail us given time. Don’t feel bad about – do something about it. Losing your sight or hearing is nothing to be ashamed of. Think of the millions of senior Americans who have deteriorated eyes and ears as a result of ordinary aging. Don’t risk your safety or someone else’s safety when it comes to driving. Have your eyes and ears checked regularly and take action if you need corrective vision or hearing.
Check in with your doctor if you’re concerned over a medication that makes you feel drowsy, tired or simply “not you” if you plan to also drive. Don’t take risks. Plus, in some cases, if you drive under the influence of drugs – even the prescription variety – you may be arrested for suspicion of a DUI.
DRIVING TIMES & CONDITIONS
Try to drive after dawn and before dusk if at all possible. Poor visibility during afterhours can wreak havoc on aging eyes. Also, try to drive when the weather is cooperative. Fortunately, here in San Diego, we often enjoy sunny weather so, if you’re an elderly driver, know that you have plenty of time to get out and about!
ABOUT MICHAEL PINES
Michael Pines is the founder of the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC., a car accident law firm located in San Diego, California. For over 20 years, the firm has established itself as the area’s most trusted personal injury law group. For a FREE consultation with Mike, call now, 24/7: 1-858-551-2090. It won’t cost you a penny to hire us and we only collect when we win your case. Call now.