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Georgia Car Accidents Caused by Older Drivers

By Evan L. Kaine

Georgia’s Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GGOHS) is dedicated to offering safety programs for drivers all over the state. Whether you are just receiving your driver’s license or have been driving for 40 years, the GGOHS is committed to keeping Georgia roadways safe. A program that may not get as much attention as others is the Older Driver Safety Program.

Elderly Drivers Cause More Deadly Car Accidents in Georgia than Georgia Teen Drivers

Unfortunately, older drivers have a higher rate of motor vehicle fatalities as compared to any other adult age group. According to a study in 2008, drivers 65 years and older had the highest driver cash fatality rate among all driving age populations, including teenagers. By 2025, it is expected that motor vehicle crashes will account for the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for drivers ages 65+ in Georgia.

Car accidents happen for a variety of reasons. However, this specific topic found the most common factor for drivers 65 and older (including both injury accidents and fatal crashes) was failure to yield (see O.C.G.A. § 40-6-71). The second most common factor was failure to maintain lane (see O.C.G.A. § 40-6-48). Lastly, older drivers were involved in non-fatal crashes due to them following too closely (see O.C.G.A. § 40-6-49).

Steps To Prevent Older Drivers from Causing Fatal Car Accidents in Georgia

For aging drivers, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is dedicated to maintaining “the mobility of older adults while keeping them safe.”  They suggest that older drivers, and their family members, maintain an open dialogue about the status of the aging driver’s driving abilities in an effort to minimize the risk to themselves and also to others on the road. The GGOHS suggests the following to help older drivers stay safe:

  1. Aging has an impact on vision, memory, strength, flexibility and reaction time – all of these skills can be tested at your doctor’s office;
  2. Always discuss conditions and medications that may affect your driving;
  3. To stay proactive, it is important to take a certified driver safety course;
  4. Attend a CarFit Safety Event; and
  5. Learn and know where your driving skills are now by finding a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist to evaluate your driving.

Logically, our aging population leads to an aging driving population.  We encourage you to talk to your loved ones if you have noticed a change in their reaction time and driving ability.

Injured in an Accident With an Elderly Driver?

If you are a driver, age 65 or older, don’t be ashamed to get tested or talk to your doctor about any problems you may be having while operating a vehicle. The rising number of accidents and fatalities can be prevented by not only starting the discussion, but by knowing your limits as a driver.

Kaine Law is a personal injury law firm representing injured accident victims in Georgia.  With offices in Atlanta, Conyers, Lawrenceville and Stockbridge, Kaine Law’s personal injury attorneys specialize in representing injured motorcycle accident victims, injured car accident victims, injured dog bite victims and injured pedestrian accident victims.  Kaine Law represents their injured accident victim clients using a contingency fee agreement which provides that there are no legal fees unless we win.

Published September 19, 2018
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