According to the CDC, fatal car crashes increase for drivers starting at age 75 and increase sharply by age 80. This increase in automobile-related deaths is due in large part to the many changes that take place physically and cognitively in older adults. From vision problems to increased joint pain and loss of memory, many seniors are simply not up to the task of driving like they used to be.

Know How to Prevent Injuries

These general safety rules will help keep many older drivers safe. If you're an older driver, it's important to familiarize yourself with these safety tips.

  • Get your eyes checked on a yearly basis, even if you don't have a prescription. Your visual acuity may start declining at a rapid rate as you age, so it's important to see an eye doctor, even if you've never had a vision problem in the past. 
  • Avoid nighttime driving. Although traffic on the roads is reduced by about half at night, 62 percent of all traffic deaths occur at night. To protect yourself and others, leave with plenty of time to arrive at your destination and make a habit of always staying off the road after dark. 
  • Stay off the road in bad weather. Don't drive when it's raining, snowing or when it's very windy outside.
  • Avoid traveling to unfamiliar places, and don't take unfamiliar routes. Taking a route you don't know well can distract you from driving defensively. 

Know When Not to Drive

Some older drivers aren't able to safely drive anymore, but have a hard time bringing themselves to admit it. If you've had multiple accidents or near-misses in the last year, it may be time to stop driving. Here are some of the other warning signs that you may not be safe to drive anymore:

  • You become easily disoriented, even in familiar places.
  • You confuse the gas pedal and brake pedal.
  • You frequently drive too fast or too slow.
  • You frequently miss traffic signals or signs.
  • You are frequently given traffic tickets or warnings.

Know Who to Turn to if you Have an Accident

Hopefully you'll stay safe while on the road. However, if it should happen that you are involved in or injured in a traffic accident, knowing who to turn to can help you get the situation resolved as quickly as possible. Seek an injury lawyer with a reputation for excellence in your community and a record of success. Contact a professional like James Lee Katz for more information.