Statistics show that elderly drivers in parking lots can pose serious threats to pedestrians and other drivers.
Today there are more elderly drivers on our roads. They drive to go to the grocery store, doctor, and many other places for their daily activities. Parking lots can pose a serious challenge for older drivers because there is a lot of activity in such a small space. In addition, there are unique traffic patterns in different parking lots and there is pedestrian traffic as well.
What Statistics Say
Elderly drivers in parking lots pose a serious threat not only to pedestrians but to other drivers as well. A study conducted by the Texas A&M University’s Center for Mobility revealed that big-box parking lots are particularly dangerous for people above 75 years due to the following reasons:
- Elderly drivers are 17 times more likely to cause a crash in a big box parking lot than driving on the street.
- There is a 3.9% increase in fatalities and serious injuries, and 7% increase in parking lot crashes caused by elderly drivers.
Common Causes of Parking Lot Accidents by Elderly Drivers
There are some factors that have consistently been shown to contribute to these types of accidents. These include:
- Pedal misapplication: A crash may occur when an elderly driver mistakenly applies the gas pedal instead of the brake. This is often a result of a decline in the driver’s physical and mental abilities.
- Backing up errors: With growing age, people lose the physical abilities that are important for safe driving. These include flexibility, coordination, strength, reaction time and range of motion. This makes it more difficult for seniors to turn to see other drivers while backing up.
- Distractions: As people grow older, multitasking becomes increasingly difficult, and distracted driving can become a real issue. Performing some simple tasks simultaneously such as monitoring the GPS system or even talking to someone while driving can pose a more serious distraction to an older driver than a younger one.
- Vision problems: Senior drivers develop vision problems as they age. Their field of vision becomes narrow and they may lose the ability to distinguish details. This makes it difficult for them to see and react to signals, signs, vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. They also become more sensitive to glare and low light, which makes it difficult for them to see in the sun’s bright light and at night. This increases their risk for causing crashes in general, and in parking lots too because parking lots are often poorly lit.
Injured by a Senior Driver in a Parking Lot?
Just because the auto accident was caused by an elderly driver does not mean you cannot recover for your injuries and other losses. You can still make a claim for medical expenses, wage loss, property damages and other losses resulting from the parking lot accident. Get in touch with an experienced St. Louis accident lawyer, who can help you with the claim process.