Senior Drunk Driving More than Doubles Car Accident Risks

Seniors are not at a high risk of driving under the influence of alcohol, but when they do drive drunk, their risks of being involved in an auto accident increase substantially.

According to the results of a new study,  when a senior driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, his chances of being involved in an auto accident increase by 2 to 4 times. The researchers analyzed more than 87 drivers who had been involved in car accidents, and found that more than one -third of the car accidents involved drivers above the age of 70 who used alcohol or drugs.  For  the purposes of the study, the researchers analyed auto accident records involving not just alcohol but also narcotics,  stimulants,   marijuana and other drugs.

Overall, senior drivers are at an elevated  risk of being involved in car accidents.  Those risks increase substantially if they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Senior drivers are less likely to report driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  That  is part of the reason why most anti -drunk driving campaigns do not specifically target seniors.  Young  persons, especially those between the age of 18 and 35 are much more likely to drive under the influence of alcohol,  increasing their auto accident risks. However, according to the researchers, it is important for anti-drunk driving campaigns to also target senior citizens.

The number of older drivers on our roads has increased substantially over the past few years. In  2020, 48 million people in the United States above the age of 65 had valid driving licenses.  That was a 68% increase since 2020.  Retaining driving abilities is key to a person’s mental health.  It helps a senior stay mobile, continue to remain independent and enjoy recreation and sports activities well into his 80s and 90s. In fact, curtailing an elderly person’s driving privileges has been found linked to a decline in mental and cognitive abilities.  However, it is also important for senior citizens to understand that using alcohol and drugs while driving  simply exacerbates their risks of being  involved in an auto accident.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a terrible idea at any age, but even more so when you are a senior citizen above the age of 65, and already have many of your driving – related faculties dulled by advancing years.  Seniors, for instance, may face problems like delayed reflexes, poor physical and motor coordination and other challenges that make it difficult for them to drive safely.  Failing hearing and vision are also other challenges that seniors struggle with that definitely impact their ability to drive without causing an auto accident.  Adding alcohol to this combination of factors is only a recipe for disaster.

The Atlanta car crash attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia.  If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages.   You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages.  Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.

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