The elderly age group, particularly people ages 70 and older, is highly at risk of getting injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents. While they are less likely to be licensed to drive as opposed to younger people, as well as less likely to drive more miles than they did during early adult years, it was found that the fatal crash rates of the elderly per mile traveled increases starting at age 70 to 74. Such rates are at its highest among drivers 85 and older.
As it is, majority of elderly drivers have an increased likelihood of getting fatally injured in a motor vehicle crash because they are more susceptible to bodily harm, especially injuries to the chest. Aside from that, medical complications due to sustained injuries among the elderly may also happen.
To provide a clear perspective as to the vulnerability of elderly drivers to motor vehicle crashes, the following are some of the statistical information taken from the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data:
· The total number of people ages 70 or older who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2011 was 4,052. Said figure was a 3-percent decrease from the previous year (4,171, 2010).
· Of the number of elderly people who died in vehicle crashes in 2011, around 76 percent of them (3,097) were passenger vehicle occupants, while 16 percent of them (631) were pedestrians.
· Of the 3,097 older passenger vehicle occupants who died in 2011, around 62 percent of them (2,292) were older drivers, while 15 percent of them (551) were passengers. In comparison, there were only 42 percent of drivers who died in motor vehicle crashes that year who are younger than 30.
· Older males have higher death rates in crashes than older females, and this is true across other age groups.
· In 2011, drivers 80 years or older accounted for 39 percent of multiple-vehicle crashes at intersections in the country, while drivers 20-49 accounted for only 18 percent.
Meanwhile, expert litigators, including a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, reminds all motorists, including the elderly ones, to be safe while behind the wheel in order to avoid occurrences of accidents.
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