As Atlanta car accident lawyers, we know that older motorists face specific driving challenges that may increase their chances of being involved in a serious auto accident and suffering serious injuries.However, a new study shows that the older the driver, the higher the risk of making a critical driving error that could end in an accident. The study is something that older drivers and their families in Atlanta and throughout Georgia should consider as they make decisions together about when to stop driving.
The study conducted by researchers at Australian National University, studied 266 volunteers aged between 70 and 88.The volunteers were required to take a driving test, with a driving instructor and an occupational therapist in the vehicle.
17% of the drivers in the study made critical driving mistakes, like veering or failing to check in their blind spots.The risk of making critical driving errors increased with age.For instance, drivers between the age of 70 and 74 made an average of one driving error.Drivers between the age of 85 and 89 however made an average of four critical driving errors.Additionally, those drivers who had been involved in an accident over the past five years were also much more likely to make driving errors.
There were no differences between men and women in the number of critical driving errors made.The most frequent driving error was failing to look in blind spots, veering across lanes of traffic and failure to use signals while turning.
According to statistics by the US Census Bureau, elderly drivers above the age of 75 are involved in 7.5% of the total number of fatal car accidents that occurred in the US in 2008.They were also involved in 3.1% of all car accidents that year.The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that in 2009, the number of elder drivers above the age of 65 in the country spiked to 33 million people.Those numbers are expected to increase further, increasing concern about the crash risks of these drivers.