The population in Phoenix has exploded in recent decades and every age range has seen a significant expansion. With the new permanent residents, though, have also come the seasonal “snow birds,” older Americans who live in colder climates and want to spend the winters in Arizona. Other older adults do not want to stay here just for the winter but rather choose to retire in the Valley so that they can take advantage of all the area has to offer, from its weather to its restaurants to its economy.
These older residents are not only contributing to the community as a whole but they are living every aspect of it, including those that require them to drive. As public transportation is not widely available in many areas and as Maricopa County is a sprawling area, most of these older individuals choose to drive around town. They may drive themselves or they may ride with a spouse, friend, or caregiver. What is clear is that these individuals are taking to the roadways in droves.
If you are someone who drives in the area, what should you know about these older motorists to make sure you remain as safe as possible?
First, realize that being an older driver does not necessarily equate to being an unsafe driver. Plenty of senior citizens are reasonable, law abiding, and cautious while they drive a car, blending in with other motorists and going on their way without incident. These drivers are no more likely to be the cause of a collision than anyone else.
But a stereotype exists that older drivers are not as adept behind the wheel because they lack the necessary skills to operate in a safe manner. In some instances, this is true. Mental acuity, vision, hearing, and decision making skills may decrease with age and these decreases can lead to a once safe driver becoming a danger on the roads. These drivers are more likely to be at-fault for a collision, and if a car accident does happen, are more likely to be injured as a result than their younger counterparts.
If you are an older driver in the Phoenix area, make sure you know whether you are safe to drive. Talking to a doctor, undergoing routine vision and hearing tests, and making sure you are in compliance with all state and local laws related to operating a motor vehicle is a good place to start.
If you are a younger driver, know that older motorists are here to stay in Arizona and that they have a right to drive, just as you do. Make sure you put safety first when you operate your vehicle and drive in a defensive manner, prepared to slow and/or stop if a hazard arises in your path.
Regardless of your age, if you were involved in an accident where an elderly individual was driving, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. A civil claim for your personal injuries may allow you to recover for the medical expenses you endured, the wages you were unable to earn while recovering, the pain and suffering you experienced, and any other damages.
The legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. offers a case consultation without cost or obligation to all injury victims who contact us toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191. We understand that accidents happen at all times so we keep an attorney available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you by taking your call and sorting through your legal options. If you need answers, call us today and let us get to work on your behalf.
We never charge our clients a fee unless we make a recovery on their behalf and we advance all case-related expenses, so please do not hesitate to call us now.
Prior Blog Entry:
Backup Warnings Can Prevent Phoenix Car Accidents, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published December 16, 2015.