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This One Factor Increases Senior Driver Accident Risks

Senior drivers tend to purchase the same type of car throughout the years placing an emphasis on familiarity over safety features.  This behavior could possibly increase their accident risks.

Earlier studies have indicated that seniors tend to drive cars that are less loaded with the kind of state-of-the-art safety features that many automobiles now come with. More new studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety now prove this point. Senior drivers already have a higher risk for accident-related injury and fatality than other age groups. They are more likely to suffer severe injuries, and one reason for this is that these drivers tend to drive cars that have older and possibly outdated features.

Prior studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have found that drivers above the age of 75 have a risk of being fatally injured in car accidents that is as much as four times higher in the case of a side-impact accident. In the case of a frontal accident, the risk of dying is approximately three times higher for a senior above the age of 75, compared to drivers of other age groups.

The new studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that drivers of that same age group are more likely to drive older cars with outdated safety features. They are also likely to drive smaller vehicles. A motorist driving a smaller vehicle is much more likely to suffer serious injuries in an accident, compared to one driving a larger vehicle like an SUV. Older drivers, according to the study, are much more likely to drive cars that are at least 16 years old, compared to younger drivers. These vehicles are much less likely to be equipped with injury-preventing technology like side airbags.

Failure to drive a vehicle with electronic stability control is linked to a 37% higher chance of dying in an accident for drivers above the age of 70. Driving a vehicle without side airbags is associated with a risk of dying in an accident that was approximately twice as high as those of other age groups. Older drivers, according to the study, are more likely to prefer smaller cars like sedan hatchbacks, instead of larger bulkier cars like SUVs.  They are more likely to prefer mid-sized passenger cars, and once comfortable with a car model, are likely to stick with the same model.  As a result, seniors are likely to continue driving cars that do not necessarily do a much better job of keeping them safe in accidents, even as they increase in age and even as the safety concerns associated with driving at their age increase.

If your loved one continues to drive, ensure that you are keeping him or her safe by suggesting or recommending new or updated models that have solid safety features like electronic stability control systems, side airbags and even forward collision warning systems.

The Atlanta car accident attorneys at the Katz Personal Injury Lawyers represent persons who have suffered injuries in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to an attorney at our firm and determine your legal options to a claim for damages. 


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