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The elderly drive safely, still more susceptible to injury

A substantial proportion of American's 36 million licensed drivers older than the age of 65 lives in Tennessee or travels through the state. Available research on the aging national driver population indicates that elderly drivers show no greater tendency to have motor vehicle accidents than other age groups.

For example, elderly drivers generally show a preference for traveling during the day, and they tend to not drive during bad weather. They also have less of a tendency than other generations to drive while drunk or intoxicated. Older drivers have also been found to use their seat belts more than most other groups. A study of fatal car crashes shows that motor vehicle occupants age 65 and up wore their seat belts 79 percent of the time, while younger demographics only used them two times out of three.

However, their fatality rate is still remarkably higher than other demographics. The high mortality rate does not appear to be because they are involved in more accidents, but rather because they have a greater tendency to die from the accidents in which they are involved. Older drivers have bodies that are more fragile and a greater likelihood of experiencing medical complications, so accidents that would have been less traumatic to a young person can more seriously damage their health.

Individuals who have been involved in a car accident may suffer a wide variety of injuries. If it can be shown that another person or people bore responsibility for the serious injury that befell them, then they may be able to obtain commensurate compensation. A lawyer might be able to help anyone who needs to file a civil suit seeking financial redress for medical expenses, loss or injury.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Older Adult Drivers," May 27,2015

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