As New Yorkers live increasingly longer lives, there are far more elderly drivers on the state's roads. This is a concern for the state's emergency services personnel as older drivers are more likely to die or suffer a serious injury in a car crash. The Department of Transportation say that there were over 35 million licensed drivers in America in 2012 who were 65 years of age or older, and that number is expected to increase sharply in the years ahead.
While factors such as declining eyesight and compromised cognitive functioning may contribute to some car accidents involving elderly drivers, statistics show that older motorists are actually much safer than their younger counterparts. Older drivers are far more likely to fasten their seat belts, and they are often prone to avoiding driving when road conditions are poor. Studies have also found that elderly motorists are far less likely to get behind the wheel after drinking. Almost a quarter of the motorists aged between 21 and 64 who were involved in an accident in 2012 had been drinking, but that number fell to 7 percent for those aged 65 or older.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the increased risk among older drivers is largely due to the natural aging process. An injury that a teenager may recover from in a few months could be a death blow to an octogenarian, and many older drivers suffer from medical conditions that would make it less likely for them to survive a serious crash.
People of any age who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by the reckless actions of others may pursue civil remedies, but accident reports and police statements may not always provide all of the information necessary to establish liability in a lawsuit. In these situations, a personal injury attorney could conduct a separate investigation. These efforts may include speaking with those who live or work near the scene of the accident and viewing footage recorded by nearby security cameras.