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Car Crashes Involving Senior Drivers in Virginia

senior man meeting with lawyer while wearing neck brace from car accident injury

Drivers of any age can be either safe or unsafe. But as you age, the abilities relating to driving - such as vision, hearing, reaction time, flexibility, physical strength, and memory, may decline. Often car crashes involving senior drivers in Virginia result from declining driving abilities.

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), drivers who are 75 years old or senior are considered senior drivers. In 2020, there were 1,905 car accidents involving senior drivers in Virginia. These accidents resulted in 41 fatalities and 1,213 injuries. The most common contributing factors to such accidents were failing to yield the right of way, following too closely, and improper lane change.

If you are a senior driver or have a loved one who is a mature driver, it's essential to be mindful of the potential risks and take appropriate precautions. In this article, Kalfus & Nachman, a leading personal injury law firm in Virginia, shares tips for Virginian senior drivers to stay safe on the road while aging gracefully.

Learn The Most Common Causes of Senior Driver Car Accidents in Virginia

The most common causes of car crashes involving senior drivers in Virginia, as reported by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), include:

  • Failing to yield the right of way: This is the most common cause of accidents involving senior drivers in Virginia. It often occurs when a senior driver fails to notice other vehicles or pedestrians when turning or entering an intersection.
  • Following too closely: This is another common cause of car accidents involving senior drivers in Virginia. It can happen when a senior driver is driving too closely to the car in front of them, which can cause a rear-end collision if the vehicle in front stops suddenly.
  • Improper lane change: Senior drivers may also cause accidents by changing lanes improperly, such as failing to check their blind spots or signaling correctly.
  • Failure to obey traffic signals or signs: This can happen when a senior driver fails to stop at a red light or stop sign or disregards other traffic signals or signs.
  • Poor judgment or decision-making: Senior drivers may also make poor decisions while driving, such as misjudging the speed of other vehicles or underestimating the distance between cars.

It's important to note that these causes are not exclusive to senior drivers, and drivers of all ages can cause accidents due to these factors. However, senior drivers may be more prone to these issues due to age-related declines in vision, hearing, reaction time, and cognitive function.

10 Tips For Virginian Senior Drivers To Drive Safely

Here are ten tips for senior drivers to drive safely:

  1. Get regular vision and hearing tests: Keep your vision and hearing up to date. Get routine eye and hearing tests to ensure you can see and hear well while driving.
  1. Stay physically active: Exercise regularly to maintain your strength, flexibility, and range of motion, which can help you control the car more easily.
  1. Plan your trips carefully: Avoid driving during rush hour or in bad weather conditions when visibility is poor, or the roads are slippery.
  1. Follow traffic rules: Obey speed limits, stop signs, traffic lights, and other traffic signals and signs to avoid accidents.
  1. Keep a safe following distance: Maintain a safe distance between your car and the car in front of you to give yourself enough time to react and stop if necessary.
  1. Avoid distractions: Do not use your phone or any other electronic device while driving; avoid eating or drinking while behind the wheel.
  1. Take breaks when necessary: If you feel fatigued, take a break or switch drivers to avoid driving while drowsy.
  1. Stay alert: Pay attention to your surroundings. Scan the road ahead for potential hazards, and always be prepared to react to unexpected situations.
  1. Consider taking a refresher course: Consider taking a driving course designed for seniors to brush up on their skills and learn new techniques for safe driving.
  1. Know your limitations: Be aware of your physical and mental limitations and adjust your driving accordingly. Consider alternative transportation options if you do not feel comfortable driving in certain situations or conditions.

Role of an Attorney in a Senior Driver Car Crash Claim

If a senior driver is involved in a car crash, an attorney can play a vital role in protecting their legal rights and ensuring they receive fair compensation for any damages or injuries sustained in the accident. Here are some ways an attorney can assist a senior driver after a car crash:

  • Investigation: An attorney can investigate the accident, gather evidence, and determine who is at fault for the accident.
  • Communication with insurance companies: An attorney can communicate with insurance companies on behalf of the senior driver and negotiate for fair compensation for damages and injuries.
  • Legal representation: An attorney can represent the senior driver in court if they decide to file a lawsuit against another driver.
  • Protecting legal rights: An attorney can protect the senior driver's rights throughout the legal process.
  • Advice and guidance: An attorney can provide advice and guidance to the senior driver on all legal matters related to the accident, such as how to deal with insurance companies, how to document injuries and damages, and how to negotiate for a fair settlement.

Kalfus & Nachman's seasoned car accident attorneys in Virginia can provide invaluable support and guidance to a senior driver involved in a car crash, ensuring their legal rights are protected and they receive fair compensation for any damages or injuries sustained in the accident. Call us for a free consultation today: 855-880-8163


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