Naples Accident Attorney: Can More Be Done to Prevent Elderly Car Accidents?

by Carmen Dellutri on February 22, 2012

Car Accident attorney SarasotaAs Naples accident attorneys, we are concerned that more senior drivers are on the road than ever before. Today, drivers 65-and-over make up 18 percent of all Florida drivers. As the baby boomer generation ages, demographers predict that by 2030, they will account for one in four drivers.

In addition, research shows that older drivers are keeping their licenses longer. Today, about 94 percent of 65- to 69-year-olds and 78 percent of those 70 and older have licenses, up from 79 percent and 55 percent, respectively, in 1983.

As detailed in a recent article in the Miami Herald, the good news is that many older drivers are able to self-regulate. That means they avoid situations that may make them uncomfortable like driving at night, on the expressway, or during rush hour.

Nonetheless, with the influx of older drivers, education and accident prevention have become even more important. Florida’s Safe Mobility for Life Coalition, which includes numerous government agencies and private organizations, is working on a five-year state safety plan. As reported by the Miami Herald, licensing renewal procedures for older drivers are among the safety measures being considered.

Under existing Florida law, renewal applicants 80 years and older must pass a vision test in Florida and renew their licenses every six years instead of every eight. Coming up with new standards is difficult according to experts because people age at different rates.

“Some have changes starting at 70 and others are fine until they’re 90,” says Neva Kirk-Sanchez, an associate professor of physical therapy at the University of Miami who specializes in geriatrics. “Certainly we should be testing driver ability, but at what age, what test, and how we pay for it are all issues [that need to be worked out.] There’s just no easy solution.”

In the meantime, here are some warning signs for older divers:

  • Numerous tickets or police warnings.
  • Frequent close calls.
  • Misjudging gaps in traffic, especially at intersections and on entrance and exit ramps.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Getting lost.
  • Confusing the gas and brake pedals or having trouble moving feet between the two.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Naples car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation.


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