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Accident Lawyers Network

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Two Dead in Accident Caused by Elderly Driver

An 85-year-old driving her vehicle the wrong way on I-44 near Joplin, Missouri hit another vehicle head-on killing both drivers. The 70-year-old driver of the other vehicle is reported to have pulled out to try and pass a tractor trailer when she was hit.

The accident occurred ten minutes after police first received a report of a driver heading the wrong way in the westbound lands. Just before the accident, another driver was forced off the road by the wrong-way vehicle. That driver suffered minor injuries.

While many accidents have been caused by wrong-way drivers, this particular accident may raise the question of when are people too old to be driving. Should an 85-year-old woman still be allowed to get behind the wheel? What about a 70-year-old? Or is this simply a matter of both vehicles being in the wrong place at the wrong time? After forcing a vehicle off the road just before the accident, one might think the elderly driver would have pulled over. Or maybe this is just wishful thinking.

Research done on age-related driving and accidents has shown that there is an increased risk of accidents when people hit 65. Though age and the way one feels is certainly subjective (an 80-year-old may be in better shape to drive than a 60-year-old), senior citizens are required to go through more driving tests than younger drivers are – at least in some states. Other states mandatory driving tests have been shot down by senior citizen lobbying groups, such as AARP, who find the tests discriminatory.

Though different state and government agencies can try different things to try and screen out older drivers who may be more likely to cause an accident due to their age, the nation needs to come to terms with the fact that the aging Baby Boomers will still have their licenses and their cars for many more years. More elderly drivers may mean more age-related auto accidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, please contact an experienced auto accident attorney in your area.

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posted by Neil at 10:08 AM

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