The number of elderly drivers in New Jersey is increasing, raising concerns about safety. Explore the unique aspects of senior driver-related accidents and how to seek compensation if you have been injured.

Elderly Driver Accidents in New Jersey, Legal Rights and Safety Tips

The capability to drive is a privilege in New Jersey, and there are certain requirements that must be met in order to avail yourself of such privilege. However, what happens when these requirements can no longer be met simply due to old age? Elderly drivers can be a risk on the road both to themselves and to other drivers. There are no age-related restrictions to attaining driving privileges in New Jersey, besides being a minimum age. If you are elderly, how can you protect yourself on the road? If you get into an accident with an elderly driver, what are you supposed to do? The answers to these questions and more are covered by our experienced car accident attorneys below. If you would like to speak with a lawyer on our team regarding your particular accident as an elderly driver or a crash caused by a senior, contact Cohen & Riechelson today at (609) 528-2596. The consultation is always provided free of charge.  

Senior Citizen Crashes by the Numbers

According to the Federal Highway Administration, 29% of all drivers in America are considered senior citizens. These drivers, ages 65 or older, were involved in 13% of all fatal accidents in 2020. In New Jersey, 25% of the population is ages 55 or older. Those ages 75 or older are exponentially more likely to be involved in a car accident than those younger. In the year 2022, 47,667,706 licensed senior drivers were driving in America.

Are There Special Driving Restrictions on the Elderly in NJ?

Currently, there are no special restrictions or limits on senior drivers in New Jersey. There are no age-based restriction on licenses, and all drivers are required to renew their license every four years. License restrictions apply to all drivers, however if someone is diagnosed with a disorder, a doctor is required to report it to the Motor Vehicle Commission.

Contributing Factors to Elderly Driver Accidents

By driving in bad conditions, during nighttime, or during high-traffic hours, elderly drivers are likely to get into car accidents. This may happen in a variety of ways. Running red lights or failing to stop, among other traffic violations, are the most common ways an elderly driver can cause an accident. Moreover, by failing to use signals properly or speeding, elderly drivers increase the chance of getting into an accident. They may forget to use their signals or drive very below or above the speed limit. If an elderly driver cannot properly perceive the distance between vehicles and obstacles in the road, it is likely that they can make an unsafe lane change or improper turn.

Besides traffic violations, elderly drivers are at an increased risk of health-related issues, such as diminishing eyesight. Driving with limited visibility can be extremely dangerous for the elderly driver and others on the road. Other health-related issues, such as a diminishing mental capacity, can also be extremely dangerous.

Top Kinds of Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers

Certain collisions are more common than others among senior citizen drivers. For example, it’s unlikely that grandma is going to flip her motorcycle on a residential road. More likely are rear-end accidents involving elderly drivers. Accidents caused by not yielding at a red light or failing to make a proper turn cause intersection collisions. Seniors have also been known to get into sideswipe accidents by failing to perceive how far a vehicle is from them. With common car accidents involving senior drivers also come common car accident injuries.

Understanding Frequent Injuries for Senior Drivers when Crashes Occur

Elderly drivers, as mentioned before, are at an increased risk of health-related issues. They are likely to suffer from bone related injuries such as a fracture due to decreased bone density. They can also suffer head trauma and internal injuries to major organs. Other drivers who are involved in accidents with elderly drivers are also likely to suffer the same injuries in addition to whiplash, and other trauma.

Establishing Liability in Accidents Caused by Elderly Drivers

It is extremely important for an experienced attorney to be consulted in cases involving elderly drivers because only a seasoned attorney can properly prove negligence. To prove negligence there must be a showing of four elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.

Establishing Liability in Accidents Caused by Elderly Drivers in Southern NJ

The attorney must show that the elderly driver owed a duty of care to the injured party while they were driving, and that this duty was breached. By acting in the way that they did, the elderly driver failed to adhere to the duty, or standard, of care that they owed to the injured party while they were driving.

In breaching the duty that was owed, the elderly driver’s actions caused the accident. The accident must have caused damages to the injured party, such as physical pain, emotional distress, medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, or even a reduced capacity to earn future wages. All of these types of damages can be recoverable for the injured party.

Proactive Strategies for Elderly Drivers to Avoid Accidents

To show that senior drivers are doing the most they can to keep up with their health, and therefore safety while driving, they should make sure they continue with regular check-ups. Specifically, they should make sure they get testing done on their sight and hearing. Senior drivers would do well to make sure they drive in only optimal driving conditions, such as good weather and during the daytime. They should stay off the road during high traffic hours and plan their routes to avoid complicated driving routes to minimize the possibility of getting into an accident.

Lastly, senior drivers can take driver refresher courses and make sure that their vehicles are safe utilizing the latest safety technology. Drivers with disabilities can obtain a handicap parking placard or license plate. With these steps taken, elderly drivers can better uphold the duty owed to other drivers on the road, regardless of their age. This can help to mitigate any avoidable risks while driving.

In some cases necessitating it, family members of elderly drivers can request that an Unsafe Driver Investigation be done by the Motor Vehicle Commission. This investigation delves into all faculties of a driver to ultimately deem them fit or unfit to drive.

Contact Cohen & Riechelson to Seek Compensation for Injuries Resulting from an Elderly Driver Accident in Hamilton, NJ

From the perspective of an elderly driver involved in an accident, an attorney who’s experienced in these unique situations, can prove to be invaluable. Our car accident lawyers at Cohen & Riechelson can offer guidance on certain options available after the accident and handle emotionally stressful negotiations with insurance companies. Not only can we represent you in court, but we can gather evidence and collect proofs to ensure the best defense available.

If you are involved in an accident with an elderly person who caused or contributed to the crash, we at Cohen & Riechelson can prove to be just as essential to success in your case. By collecting evidence and facts surrounding the situation, we can build and prove a case for negligence. This will ensure that you have the best leverage available in entering negotiations with insurance carriers. Not only can our personal injury lawyers present your case in court before a judge, if necessary, but we will review all medical records, lost wages, and other relevant information to discern exactly what damages are recoverable in your specific situation.

Contact us today at (609) 528-2596 for a free consultation regarding your elderly driver accident in Mercer County, Middlesex County, Somerset County, or elsewhere in New Jersey.

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