Recent reports indicate that senior citizens in the United States are outliving the ability to drive safely by an average of seven to ten years. This epidemic results in particularly dangerous conditions on the road as investigations reveal that the fatalities due to car collisions increase significantly for drivers over the age of seventy. Some of these older drivers were operating commercial trucks when the accident occurred. Trucking companies tend to hire these drivers to fill vacancies in the trucking industry. This article will examine the role that older drivers play in contributing towards truck accidents from unsafe conditions on the road.
Reasons Dangerous Older Drivers Continue Driving
Older drivers are more dangerous behind the wheels of commercial trucks for several reasons. Many of these reasons are either due to physical or mental impairments. Older drivers are likely to experience declines in vision, hearing, and cognitive abilities. Physical impairments might also be experienced by older drivers. These physicals declines can cause drivers to lose the ability to safely operate commercial trucks. Old drivers, however, continue to operate vehicles for two significant reasons:
- Failure to Discuss. Sometimes, an older truck driver’s relatives are unaware of the driver’s inability to adequately drive a truck but fail to discuss the issue with the older driver. As a result, there is no one to intervene and stop the individual from driving.
- No Retesting. In many states there are no laws requiring older drivers to have driving skills rested in order to keep commercial driver’s licenses. As a result, there are limited ways to monitor the ability of drivers after drivers past the standards required for a commercial driver’s license.
Signs of Dangers Common in Older Truck Drivers
Motorists should remain attentive to signs of dangerous driving in older truck drivers. Some of the most common behaviors to look for in older truck drivers include the following:
- Cognitive Problems. Cognitive problems in dangerous older truck drivers can manifest in several ways including forgetting driving directions and failing to remember requisite road sign instructions.
- Dangerous older truck drivers often overlook a variety of critical factors including mechanical problems, headlights in necessary situations, and traffic directions. Also, older truck drivers forget to yield for both other cars and pedestrians.
- Near Accidents. Unfortunately, older truck drivers might display dangerous driving behavior by nearly missing an accident that might be caused by either drifting across lanes or bumping into physical objects.
- Physical Difficulties. Often, dangerous older truck drivers often lack the physical strength to perform various essential tasks including turning one’s body when necessary, moving the steering wheel quickly in the case of an emergency, and responding quickly to various emergency situations that might arise while driving a commercial truck.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving an older driver, contact our law firm. Call 409-838-1000 or email our lawyers to schedule your free initial consultation.