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Are older drivers more at risk of injury in a car accident?

A substantial segment of the nation's older drivers lives in Texas or spends time traveling through the state. While car accidents occur in all age groups that operate motor vehicles, the consequences can be worse for elder drivers.

Many people believe that drivers 65 years of age or older cause a lot of car accidents, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, says this is not necessarily the case. The CDC's research indicates that older drivers have no greater tendency to be involved in motor vehicle accidents. However, the research reveals that the elderly do suffer more and greater injuries when an accident does occur.

Older drivers actually take more protective steps against accidents than many other age groups. For example, elderly people tend not to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The older age group also avoids driving in unsafe road or weather conditions. Despite this, older Americans experience an increased risk of injury or death on the roadways.

Take a look at some figures:

-- The rate of fatalities in car accidents increases in adults who are 70 or older.

-- The highest rate of car accident fatalities occurs in drivers who are 85 or older.

-- Research shows that in an average day, about 15 older drivers die in a car crash.

-- Nearly 600 older drivers suffer car crash-related injuries in an average day.

Many older drivers are frailer than others, their bodies more vulnerable to injury or death. However, as some of Texas's safest motor vehicle operators, they deserve to feel safe behind the wheel just as everyone else does. If you know an elderly person who has been injured in a car accident through no fault of his or her own, consider putting him or her in touch with an attorney to talk about compensation.

Source: CDC.gov, "Older Adult Drivers," accessed Jan. 21, 2016

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