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Concern about number of car accidents involving older drivers

Following the deaths of two elderly Missouri residents in their 80s in a recent car accident, the Missouri State Highway Patrol responded with concern. This tragedy was caused by an elderly driver's failure to yield when she pulled onto the road into the path of a semi-truck. Reportedly, the number of fatalities in car accidents on Missouri roads that involve drivers older than 65 has increased significantly.

Although some older drivers admit that their responses have slowed as they age, many find it difficult to give up their independence. One older driver suggested that these people must drive at lower speeds to allow them more reaction time in the event of an emergency. However, a spokesperson for the Missouri State Highway Patrol said that while it is important not to exceed the speed limit, traveling too slow may also be dangerous.

Authorities suggested that family members or even law enforcement officers who notice unsafe driving practices by an older person must try to convince them to be retested, even if a citation is necessary to achieve that. It is not only slower reactions that may endanger the lives of older drivers and other road users, but also the deterioration of hearing and sight. Although it is difficult to admit, there comes a time when older drivers must rely on cabs or family members to drive them where they need to go.

Injured victims of car accidents in Missouri may be entitled to pursue financial relief through the judicial system. Older drivers may not want to face civil lawsuits for thousands of dollars in which they are named as defendants. However, the slightest error in judgment while driving can have devastating consequences. Victims may file claims for all their financial losses, including emotional damages that were brought about by a car accident.

Source: stjoechannel.com, "Mo Traffic Deaths Rise Among Elderly", Devin Negrete, April 25, 2016

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