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The risks caused by elderly drivers in New Jersey

Around the country, the number of licensed older drivers increased 34 percent between 1999 and 2012. Beginning at 70 years of age, fatal crash rates increase per mile traveled. They are even higher for drivers 85 and older. These drivers don't necessarily have an increased tendency to be in an accident, but they do have an increased susceptibility for medical complications and injuries that prove fatal. Vision, as well as reasoning ability and memory, may decline with age, and physical changes could impact older peoples' driving abilities.

There were nearly 36 million drivers aged 65 or older with licenses in the U.S. in 2012. During that year, approximately 214,000 were injured and 5,560 were killed in a car accident. This was an average of 15 deaths and 586 injuries per day. Men had significantly higher rates of death than females in all age groups.

Researchers have found that older drivers tend to be safer in many respects than their younger counterparts. They are less likely to get behind the wheel after they have been drinking, and they are more likely to refrain from driving at night or in inclement weather conditions.

Not all elderly drivers are safe, however, and there are of course cases where an older motorist who is drowsy or inattentive causes an accident. A person who has been injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent elderly motorist may want to have the assistance of a personal injury attorney in seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses that have been sustained.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Older Adult Drivers", May 27, 2015

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