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Young versus elderly drivers

According to the 2009 statistics provided by the National Safety Council, the over-75 age group consists of 6.5 percent of all licensed U.S. Drivers, including car operators in North Carolina. The under-25 age classification encompasses twice as many drivers, but it is connected to eight times as many vehicular accidents. Both the youngest and the oldest drivers are the most likely to die in a car crash, but for different reasons.

A lack of experience and over-confident attitudes are the most common reasons why young drivers are involved in car accidents. Teens and young adults are prone to inadequate assessment of the road conditions and often take more risks. They also tend to be easily distracted and become less effective while performing the complex task of driving.

Research has shown that brains are not fully developed until the mid-20s, which may be the reason for inappropriate decision-making in difficult situations. The most effective way to compensate is to allow the teens plenty of practice behind the wheel to lessen the chances of fatal accidents, according to the director of the Center for the Study of Young Drivers.

Elderly drivers typically have decades of experience and are aware of their limitations. However, they may become indecisive and their ability to drive may be hindered by poor vision and slow reflexes. The most common reason for auto accidents involving older drivers is their overall health conditions and physical limitations. These conditions are typically caused by aging combined with reactions to medications and slower reaction times.

When an inexperienced driver or one who should not be driving causes an accident, serious injuries or death can result. Those who have been injured by such drivers could choose to file a claim in order to recover what was spent on medical care and property repairs in addition to any income that was lost during the recovery process.

Source: Fox Business, "Who's the Safer Driver, Young or Old?", Susan Ladika, November 25, 2013

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