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Driving a car gives people a sense of independence and freedom that often goes unnoticed until driving privileges are lost. When it comes to elderly drivers, as their mental and physical faculties decline, they sometimes fail to realize that their driving skills decline as well. Because of this, elderly drivers are at a heightened risk of being involved in automobile accidents and unfortunately, car accident injuries are often more severe for senior citizens because they are less resistant to physical trauma than younger, healthier people.

Sometimes it is necessary to revoke driving privileges for senior citizens for the safety of other people on the road and for senior citizens’ safety as well. Spokane elderly driver accident attorneys know that even when driving privileges should be revoked, they often are not and elderly drivers frequently remain on the road long after they should have retired from driving.

Elderly driver accident factors

Elderly drivers are not always at fault when it comes to automobile accidents, but when they do cause car accidents, it can be due to a number of common factors including those described below.

  • Decline in eyesight from macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetes complications.
  • Decline in hearing is one of the most common conditions that develop in aging adults. When drivers are hard of hearing, they put themselves and other people in danger when they cannot hear emergency sirens and honking automobiles.
  • Elderly adults often develop slowed response and reaction time as they age and that can be a problem when it comes to slowing down or stopping for unexpected traffic issues such as construction zones, closed lanes, and accident avoidance.
  • Arthritis and other physical ailments can impair driving skills such as gripping and turning the steering wheel and moving feet from the gas to bake pedal.
  • Medications that seniors take may affect their ability to drive, especially if the medication makes them drowsy or dizzy.
  • As health declines with age, medical episodes happen more often which can lead to automobile accidents when episodes are suffered while driving.

Washington driver’s license for the elderly

Senior citizens may keep their licenses in Washington until there is cause to revoke them. Washington generally requires licensing renewal every five years and every other renewal may be done online; the other years must be renewed in person. The exception to this is rule is that drivers over the age of 70 do not have the option of online renewal and they must renew their licenses in person. While this does ensure that an elderly driver is physically seen at a licensing station every 5 years, mental and physical decline in the elderly can occur at a very fast pace and in some cases, elderly drivers who should not be driving may be on the road for years before they renew their licenses in person.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident with a senior citizen, contact a Spokane elderly driver accident attorney at Russell & Hill, PLLC to discuss your injuries and recovery options.

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