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Senior Drivers: Should They Be Subjected to Stricter Regulations?

Jan 25, 2017 | Car Accidents, Personal Injury

The driving population is getting older in New York and nationwide. The reason the driving population, as a whole, is getting older is because baby boomers are rapidly aging, while many young people are not getting their licenses or are learning to drive later.  WFTV reported, previously, that by the year 2030, around 50 million of the people who are eligible to drive in the U.S. are going to be classified as senior citizens because they’ll be over 65 years of age.

The aging of the driving population has some safety experts concerned. While seniors are safer in certain ways, in large part because many of them don’t speed or drink and drive and they almost always wear their seatbelts, there are other ways that older people present risks on the roads.

Dealing with these risks is going to be tricky for lawmakers, as well as for families of those who are getting older.  Seniors must not be allowed to drive if they get too old to do so safely, otherwise they could cause accidents to occur. If seniors do cause crashes, a New York City personal injury law firm can help victims take legal action in appropriate cases.

Will Stricter Regulations Help?

Pew Trusts reported on some of the safety concerns caused by the aging population of drivers. Seniors often start to experience physical and cognitive declines as a natural part of the aging process because of age-related health issues or prescription medications they take to deal with health issues.

Vision problems, impaired judgement and slow reflexes are often manifestations of age-related decline or illness, and these impairments and limitations can make driving very unsafe.  Far too many seniors are also reluctant to give up their independence and they keep driving even when they aren’t safe motorists any more.

Throughout the country, there are certain rules aimed at addressing safety issues presented by senior drivers, including requirements that older people come in person to renew licenses so they can pass vision or other tests. However, these laws may not be sufficient and Pew Trusts indicates that lawmakers may be reluctant to tighten rules or pass new regulations, even as concerns about older drivers mount.

Lawmakers may be reluctant to make rules and regulations affecting senior drivers because this is a politically powerful group of people who tend to vote, and who are part of lobbying organizations like the AARP which are vigilant about protecting the rights of seniors. Although lawmakers may be afraid of the political consequences, it is important for them to do their jobs to determine if there are regulations that should be passed to protect road safety in light of the fact that so many drivers are getting older.

Whatever lawmakers do (or don’t do), seniors still remain responsible for damage they cause if they make a negligent decision to drive when they aren’t able to be safe behind the wheel. RMFW, a New York personal injury firm, can provide help in pursuing a case against senior drivers for serious car accident injuries or when seniors cause fatal collisions to occur.