Personal Injury Lawyers

Alabama Accident with Senior Driver An Important Reminder of Risks for the Elderly

According to the Mobile Alabama blog, a 76-year-old Alabama woman was recently killed in an auto accident. The crash occurred at 6:30 in the morning when the woman drove across a median on Interstate 10. She crashed her vehicle into a semi-truck. Unfortunately, the accident was fatal for the 76-year-old driver. Two passengers in the vehicle, a 16-year-old and a 12-year-old, were also injured in the crash and taken to University of South Alabama Medical Center. Fortunately, the driver of the semi-truck was able to escape the crash without injury.

The investigation into the accident is still ongoing and it is unclear exactly what happened to cause the 76-year-old victim to drive her vehicle into the median and into the truck. However, our Mobile accident lawyers know that there are many situations in which seniors continue to drive past the point where it is safe for them to do so. When a senior is driving after he or she suffers from physical or cognitive impairments that make safe travel difficult, both the senior and everyone else on the road are in danger.

Seniors Need to Stop Driving When it is No Longer Safe

As people age, their vision, cognitive function, memory and physical reflexes begin to slowly deteriorate. Older people may not be able to see as well and they may not react as quickly when faced with stimuli. In the car, this can be a recipe for disaster. A senior driver might not see a hazard until he or she has come close to approaching it and may have slower reflexes and a delayed reaction time.

While not all seniors become incapable of driving safely, many do get to a point where they should no longer be driving themselves or passengers. In fact, research has shown that most seniors will stop being able to drive safely around six years prior to the time when they pass away. If seniors don't realize that they have lost the ability to drive, this means that there may be several years when they are behind the wheel and shouldn't be.

To combat this problem, both seniors and their family members need to be aware of the risks that elderly drivers can create and need to be watchful for signs and symptoms that suggest that driving is no longer safe.  For family members, this can sometimes be a difficult subject to broach. Talking to the senior's doctor could be the best way to deal with the situation as the doctor can evaluate the senior's health status and give an unbiased objective opinion on whether it is still OK for the elderly person to drive.

It may be unpleasant to realize that you or your older family member is no longer able to drive safely. Still, it is far better to have a difficult conversation or make a difficult choice than it is to lose a loved one in a car accident or to put other motorists at risk of losing their lives.

If you have been injured in an Alabama traffic  accident, contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE