Not all car accidents are created equal. Some accidents result in barely a scratch while others lead to catastrophic injuries or death. There are many factors that can affect the severity of a car accident, including:
- The speed the vehicles were traveling. A collision at 70 mph is going to cause a lot more damage than a collision at 30 mph.
- The size of the vehicles involved. Getting hit by an 18-wheeler tends to lead to more traumatic injuries than getting hit by a passenger vehicle.
- The type of accident. Head-on collisions are typically considered the most dangerous type of crash because of the force involved. T-bone, or side-impact collisions, tend to lead to serious injuries as well.
- Seatbelt and helmet usage. Not only is wearing a seatbelt the law, it is also one of the easiest ways of staying safe in an accident. The same is true for helmet usage among motorcyclists.
These are all factors that can affect the severity car accident injuries. However, a lesser-known factor is age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of being injured or killed in a car accident increases with age. That’s because our bodies become more fragile the older we get.
How older drivers can stay safe behind the wheel
The CDC reports that between the ages of 70 and 74, drivers start becoming more likely to be involved in a fatal accident, and the risk becomes highest among drivers ages 85 and older. This isn’t because older drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents, it is because older adults are more susceptible to injury.
Here are a few tips from the CDC for preventing serious injuries and deaths among older drivers:
- Stay physically fit with strength and flexibility exercises.
- Make sure medications are up to date to reduce side effects.
- Get eyes checked routinely.
- Stick to driving during the daytime and during fair weather.
- Take the safest route whenever possible, avoiding dangerous intersections.
- Avoid distractions in the car.
- Plan the route before leaving the house.
What to do after an accident caused by another driver
Some accidents are not preventable. If an accident does occur, make sure to work with a personal injury lawyer who can make sure that you or your loved one is treated fairly by the insurance company.
All too often, insurance companies unfairly place the blame on older drivers for accidents and injuries. An experienced personal injury lawyer will make sure that the insurer holds up its end of the bargain.