Car Accidents and Older Drivers in Vista: What Should You Know?

Many people in Vista, and residents of Southern California more broadly, know that age can sometimes be a factor in motor vehicle collisions. Yet when most of us think about the connection between a driver’s age and their auto accident risk, we think about teenagers who are inexperienced behind the wheel and may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors like texting while driving or intoxicated driving. While studies do show that teen drivers are certainly at higher risk of accidents in many circumstances, it is important to know that older age can also play a role in assessing a person’s risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash. According to a recent article from Bankrate, senior drivers experience physical and cognitive changes that can impact their safety behind the wheel. Our Vista car accident lawyers can say more.

Getting the Facts About Older Adult Drivers and Motor Vehicle Collisions

What should you know about older adult drivers and motor vehicle accident risk? The following are some key facts and figures cited in the Bankrate article from the NHTSA, the FHA, and the CDC:

  • As of 2022, there are nearly 48 million licensed drivers aged 65 and over in the US, and they account for nearly 30% of all motorists on the road;
  • Older adult drivers aged 65 and up were involved in about 13 percent of all reported fatal car crashes in 2020;
  • Senior drivers who are aged 70 are considered most vulnerable to a crash and have markedly higher fatal accident rates than motorists between the ages of 35 and 54; and
  • Nearly 70% of all crashes involving seniors occur on weekdays, and about 66% of all crashes involving elderly drivers are multi-vehicle collisions.

Common Causes of Car Crashes Involving Elderly Drivers

Why are senior drivers at a higher risk of being in a car crash than many younger adult drivers? In short, with aging comes both physical decline and cognitive decline. Both of those things are often paired with increased use of medications that can cause fatigue and increase the possibility of a drowsy driving collision. 

According to the Bankrate article, senior drivers’ frequently slowed reaction times due to cognitive decline and medications can mean that they are unable to avoid a collision (where another driver’s reaction time could allow them to avoid the crash), even if the accident ultimately is another driver’s fault. At the same time, older adult drivers do cause many collisions in which they are involved. The following are listed by Bankrate as the most common causes of collisions that involve older adult drivers and that are caused by senior drivers:

  • Failing to yield right-of-way to another motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian;
  • Failing to adequately surveil the surroundings;
  • Misjudging another driver’s speed; and
  • Misjudging the gap between a senior’s own vehicle and another vehicle.

Contact a Vista Auto Accident Lawyer Today

If you were involved in a motor vehicle collision or if a loved one was seriously injured or killed in an accident, it is important to seek legal advice. One of the experienced Vista personal injury attorneys at our firm can talk with you today to learn more about your case and to advise you about seeking compensation through an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we can assist you.


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