You are driving home from college when another vehicle crashes into you. The other driver looks to be the same age as your grandpa and is clearly in pain, as are you.
You hear passers-by muttering about how college kids are always driving dangerously around this part of town, and it was only a matter of time before someone got hurt.
When the police arrive, they too start talking about kids getting overconfident once they pass their test. It seems everyone assumes that because you are young, the collision must have been your fault.
The statistics do not back this assumption up. Drivers over 85 years old have the highest fatal crash rate per 100 million miles traveled at 7.6. Second, come 16- to 19-year-olds at 4.8, then 80 to 84-year-olds at 4.3.
Why do older drivers crash?
Aging affects the body in many ways. Some affect the ability to drive safely:
- The brain slows: Think about playing a driving game on the computer. Now imagine your grandma playing. The chances are you would last longer than her because you have faster reactions. Your younger brain can process information and react to it faster than she can. Even though you drive slower in real life than in a computer game, brain speed and reaction time matter.
- Vision worsens: Age causes the eyes to deteriorate. Older eyes need more light to see something that a younger person can see easily. They also take longer to adjust for changes in light. That is why many older drivers limit themselves to daytime driving.
If you are injured in a car crash, it is crucial to investigate what happened. If you are a young driver, it can be intimidating when everyone assumes you are to blame. Showing how the other driver was at fault will be crucial to getting the compensation you need.