Car accidents are a fact of driving, and some groups of people are more closely linked to dangerous car accidents than others (according to available statistics). You probably recognize that teenagers are a high-risk group, but if you think that elderly drivers can’t be far behind, you are in for a surprise. Keep reading to learn more, and if you have been injured by the negligence of another driver – regardless of the driver’s age – do not put off consulting with an experienced Texas law firm for accidents.
What’s In This Guide
- Car Accident Statistics in the State of Texas
- Elderly Car Accident Statistics
- Further Exploration
- Staying Safe out There
- Car Accident Claims
Car Accident Statistics in the State of Texas
Texas is a great big state with a whole lot of car accidents. Consider all the following statistics (from the Texas Department of Transportation, TxDOT) that back up this bold claim:
- In 2019, 256,797 people were injured in traffic accidents throughout the state, and 15,855 were seriously injured.
- In 2019, 735 people were killed in intersection or intersection-related crashes
- The roadways in Texas did not have one deathless day in 2019.
- In 2019, 1 person was killed in a traffic accident every 2 hours and 25 minutes, 1 person was injured in a traffic accident every 2 minutes and 3 seconds, and there was 1 reportable traffic accident every 56 seconds.
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Elderly Car Accident Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weighs in on older adult drivers with a wide range of fatality statistics. CDC shares that, in 2018, more than 45 million people aged 65 and older were licensed to drive and that this number reflects a 60 percent increase over 2000. Driving allows older Americans to retain their mobility and get out and enjoy their lives to the fullest while maintaining their independence. It cannot be denied, however, that the risk of being killed in a traffic crash rises with age. Consider the statistics:
- In 2019, there were about 8,000 older adults killed in traffic accidents, and another 250,000 were injured so badly they required emergency care. This translates to 20 older adults being killed each day and another 700 being injured in car accidents across the country.
- Drivers who are 70 years old and up have higher fatality rates per mile driven than those aged 35 to 54.
- Across all age groups, males have significantly higher fatality rates than females do.
- Per miles traveled, the traffic fatality rate increases considerably beginning at age 70 to 74 and peaks with drivers who are over the age of 85. It is important to note here that this increase is due to their fragility rather than a statistical increase related to a tendency to be involved in crashes. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, IIHS).
Statistics do not bear out that elderly drivers are more prone to causing dangerous traffic accidents, but the elderly are more likely to die in them.
The long-held belief that elderly drivers are more likely to cause dangerous accidents no longer holds water. A 2020 report put out by IIHS finds all the following:
- The number of elderly drivers has increased rapidly over the last 20 years, but there has been no attendant increase in traffic accidents.
- Motorists in their 70s not only have fewer fatal accidents per licensed driver but also have fewer accidents per mile drive that are police-reported than middle-aged drivers do.
- For motorists who are 70 and over, the rate of fatal crashes per licensed driver fell a full 43 percent from 1997 to 2018 – as compared to a decrease of only 21 percent for motorists in the age group of 35 to 54.
- The rate of fatal traffic accidents and accidents that were reported to the police have risen significantly in recent years for middle-aged motorists, while they have declined for those aged 70 and over.
The statistics are in, and – contrary to popular belief – the elderly do not cause more accidents than younger drivers.
Staying Safe out There
All of this being said, CDC reminds every driver that there are steps you can take to stay safe behind the wheel, and some of its suggestions for older drivers include:
- Stay active – in support of your overall strength and flexibility
- Have your doctor or pharmacist review your medications to reduce the risk of interactions and side effects that could affect your driving
- Plan on driving in daylight hours and in good weather
- Plan your route prior to getting behind the wheel – making sure to choose the safest routes, including intersections with left-turn lights, easily accessible parking, well-lit streets, and more
- Have your eyes checked regularly and wear your glasses as required
- Put your phone away and avoid other distractions
Car Accident Claims
If you are injured by another driver’s negligence, seeking just compensation for the losses you experience through a car accident claim can help you achieve your fullest recovery, and an experienced car accident attorney can help in all the following ways:
- Gathering all the available evidence, which often includes eyewitness testimony
- Having accident recreation models created and hiring expert witnesses to help establish the facts involved (as necessary)
- Negotiating with the involved insurance company for compensation that fairly covers your physical, financial, and psychological losses (or legal damages)
- Preparing to take you case to trial if the at-fault driver’s insurance provider refuses to negotiate fairly
Reach Out to an Experienced Texas Car Accident Attorney Today
You may be surprised to learn that elderly drivers are not as dangerous as the popular thinking would have you believe. Every driver is responsible for following the rules of the road and for allowing the safe passage of others, and if you have been injured by a motorist who neglected this responsibility, the accomplished Texas car accident attorneys at The Patel Firm have the necessary experience and legal skill to help. Learn more by contacting or calling us at 361-400-2036 today.