Elderly driver involved in four Tucson car accidents

An elderly driver is facing charges in connection with four Tucson car accidents in three days, Channel 13 news reported. Police say the elderly man suffered from medical episodes that caused all four accidents.

The media report questioned why the man was allowed to continue driving. On Saturday a woman was injured on business property after the man reportedly struck her while pulling into an East Side car wash. After three crashes on Monday, police reported that the man was extremely disoriented. Police said they must work through channels to seek a medical suspension of the man’s license through the department of motor vehicles.

However the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles said law enforcement has the authority to begin the process by immediately confiscating the driver’s license of a motorist determined to be a danger to the public because of a medical condition.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 3,458 older motorists were killed in accidents in 2008, accounting for about 15 percent of all fatal accidents. More than 183,000 older individuals were seriously injured in traffic accidents.

In Arizona, 139 of the 1,236 traffic fatalities involved drivers over the age of 65. Seventeen fatalities involved motorists over the age of 85.

NHTSA provides tips for gauging an older driver’s abilities, as well as discussing safe driving with aging parents or older adults:

Observing an older driver:

-Make sure they stop at all signs and traffic-control devices and look both ways before proceeding.

-Appropriately yield the right-of-way.

-Respond properly to hazards and other vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles.

-Merge and change lanes safely.

-Maintain their lane and drive straight.

Warning signs may include:

-Slowing or stopping inappropriately, such as at a green light.

-Driving too fast for conditions.

-Driving too slowly or impeding the normal flow of traffic.

-Driving aggressively.

-Getting lost.

Non-driving warning signs:

-Forgetfulness.

-Unusual or excessive agitation.

-Confusion or disorientation.

-Loss of coordination.

-Trouble walking, hearing or following instructions.

-Dizziness, tripping or falling.

-Shortness or breath or fatigue.

-Inappropriate responses to questions or directions.

If you have been involved in an Arizona accident, contact the Phoenix injury lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Call (602) 819-5191 today.