WYRZ recently published the report of a car accident which led to a tragic death of an elderly man. The collision happened on Wednesday morning shortly before 7:00 AM on the 8000 block of Madison Avenue. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) reported to the crash scene when they received reports of people trapped in cars.
Upon arriving at the scene of the accident, the police found a green SUV had been going north on Madison Avenue when it crossed the center line and struck a blue SUV which was going south.
The collision was a head-on crash and the Indianapolis fire department had to extract both drivers from their respective cars. One of the motorists was an elderly male, aged 77, who was from Indianapolis and who was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Investigators will still trying to determine the cause of the collision but do not believe alcohol was involved.
The 77-year-old collision victim joins a long list of seniors to die tragically in motor vehicle collisions. Senior car accident death rates are disproportionately high throughout the United States. Often, seniors have high death rates because age-related decline or age-related health impairments can make them less safe when driving.
Senior Driving Risks for Elderly Motorists
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a report on the risks which senior drivers face when it comes to collisions. This demographic group is the least likely to get into drunk driving accidents, but seniors over 65 have the highest crash death rates of any demographic group other than young teen drivers.
Seniors and their family members should know it can become dangerous for seniors to keep driving as they age. Vision problems, delayed reaction time, impaired judgment, and impaired cognitive function are just a few of the problems which are routine among senior drivers and which can have deadly consequences. Seniors may also face impairment similar to that of a drunk or distracted driver while under the influence of certain medication.
Indiana has taken some steps to try to make sure seniors don't keep driving when they can't be safe behind the wheel. For example, drivers aged 75 to 84 have to renew their driver's license very three years while younger drivers have to renew every six years. For drivers 85 and up, they must renew every two years. Neither mail nor electronic renewal are allowed for people aged 75 or older.
While these are steps in the right direction, other states require things like vision or road test. Indiana may wish to consider making their requirements for senior license renewals stricter. Families should also be on the lookout for signs a senior relative is no longer able to drive safely so they can step in and stop driving once it becomes dangerous just in case the senior doesn't stop on his own.