A North Carolina State Trooper is speaking out about elderly driver safety after a couple of fatal wrecks in the Asheville area. According to WLOS ABC NEWS Channel 13, two of the more recent wrecks occurred in Transylvania County. One crash involved an 82-year-old driver crossing the centerline of Highway 276, and another crash involved a 68-year-old driver who fell asleep behind the wheel. North Carolina State Trooper William Hemphill is quick to point out that senior driver safety isn’t about just taking away the keys anymore. It’s about making safe decisions behind the wheel. He spoke about measures to reduce risk for elder drivers, which could include avoiding long trips, driving in the rain, unprotected left turns and heavy traffic.
Older Driver Safety
Over the next two decades, the population of people ages 65 years and older is expected to reach 70 million, so addressing the safety risks facing elder drivers needs to be a top priority. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers older drivers and their family members a variety of resources, including a Drive Well Toolkit. If you plan on having ‘the talk’ with somebody you love, it’s important to remember that driving means independence for senior citizens.
Senior Driver Crash Facts
- 14 percent of the total U.S. resident population was aged 65 years and older in 2012.
- In 2012, 17 percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. were among people ages 65 and up.
- 5,560 people 65 years old and older were killed in crashes in 2012.
- Approximately 214,000 older drivers were injured in car crashes in 2012.
• From 2003 to 2012, fatalities in crashes involving older drivers declined by 13 percent.
Elder Drivers in Asheville
With an aging baby boomer population, we could see an increase in injury-causing and fatal crashes involving elder drivers over the next couple of decades. Concerned family members can utilize the Drive Well Toolkit and other NHTSA resources to talk to their senior drivers, help them to remain independent and help to keep roadways safe in Asheville. If an older driver in or around the Asheville area has injured you or somebody you love, contact the skilled legal team at Davis Law Group, P.A. at 866-397-2897 today for a free case consultation.