Earning your driver’s license is a rite of passage for many Alabama teens. We worry about our teenagers on the road because we know they need experience to become safe drivers. But, just as youth can
be a cause for concern on the road, elderly drivers can be as well. In Alabama, teenagers and drivers over 70 years of age accounted for more than 15% of all car accidents, and 17.5% of all fatal car crashes, in 2016. So which age group is more dangerous on the roads? Both age groups face their own unique driving challenges.
Teen Driver Risk Factors & Prevention
Teenagers are simply inexperienced compared to many drivers on the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control, six teens ages 16 to 19 die every day in car crashes in the U.S. While these teens account for 6.6% of the population, they accounted for $13.6 billion (8.4%) of the costs of auto accidents in 2016.
To make your teenager a safer driver, make him aware of the leading causes of teen crashes and injuries:
- Night driving
- Not using seat belts (Teens have the lowest rate of regular seat belt use.)
- Driving with other teen passengers
- Drowsy driving
- Reckless driving
- Driving while distracted
- Impaired driving
Stress that your teen driver should always wear a seatbelt, never drink and drive, and gradually gain experience driving.
Elderly Driver Risk Factors & Prevention
While older drivers may have more experience than many people on the road, they face some unique physical challenges that can affect their driving and reaction time. According to the CDC, more than 19 older adults die and 712 are injured in car crashes across the U.S. every day. The number of older drivers on the road is increasing as well. From 1999 to 2015, the U.S. saw the number of older drivers increase by 50%.
Older adults can take measures to stay safe on the roads, including:
- Planning the route before driving and finding a safe, well-lit and well-marked route
- Leaving a safe distance between cars
- Following the speed limit
- Avoiding distractions such as talking with passengers or listening to the radio
- Getting regular eye exams
- Exercising regularly to increase strength and agility
- Reviewing prescriptions to reduce possible impairment while driving
- Wearing a seat belt at all times (Older adults have the highest rate of seat belt use.)
Driving can be dangerous for drivers of all ages, but we can all work to become safer drivers on Alabama roads.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, let the skilled attorneys at Petro Accident & Injury Attorneys help. Contact us now for a free consultation at (256) 533-5000.