A recent head-on auto accident in Palm Beach County took the life of a 69-year-old driver. The accident happened on Hagen Ranch Road. The afternoon crash happened when an 80-year-old driver was heading south on that roadway and veered across the double-yellow line directly into the path of the 69-year-old’s oncoming vehicle. Officials were forced to shut the road down after the accident in an attempt to free the victims from their vehicles and to clean up the debris.
The 69-year-old driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The 80-year-old driver was transported to Delray Medical Center. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office reports that he is still in the hospital and was listed in critical condition.
Our Palm Beach County accident lawyers understand that elderly drivers are at some serious risks for accidents on our roadways. Although elderly drivers are involved in fewer accidents than drivers under the age of 25-years-old, the state’s growing population of elderly drivers is contributing to a growing number of these accidents. With the increase in these accidents, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) is working diligently to help to address this dangerous situation and to help make sure elderly drivers are safe on our roadways.
Recommendations from the FLHSMV to help keep elderly drivers safe on our roadways:
-Help to educate elderly drivers. Help to compensate for waning abilities and to better recognize when it’s time for them to give up the keys. Safety should be their number one priority, even if that means giving up their driving privileges. It’s a decision that can save their life.
-Continuously assess elderly drivers for debilitating declines in their hearing, vision, physical skills and thinking. Identifying these characteristics of aging early on can help dangerous elderly drivers off the road and out of accidents.
-Work to provide elderly drivers with alternative forms of transportation. Offering simple and convenient transportation for these individuals will help them to get around once they’ve made the decision that it’s no longer safe for them to navigate a motor vehicle on our roadways.
Drivers who are getting older are also encouraged to take a state-approved driver improvement course. This class will not only help you to advance your driving skills, but the state also mandates insurance discounts for drivers over the age of 55-years-old who have completed this course. These classes are typically six-hour classroom courses designed specifically for elderly drivers. In these classes, like the ones that are offered by the Safety Council of Palm Beach County Inc., various driving techniques are introduced and reviewed. These techniques are used to help offset the effects of aging that contribute to higher risks of auto accidents for these older drivers.
If you or an elderly family member has been hurt in a car crash in Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Wellington or elsewhere in South Florida, contact Freeman, Mallard, Gonzalez & Sharp to discuss your rights. Call us to set up a free and confidential consultation at 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Pedestrian Accidents in Fort Lauderdale Increasingly Likely for Elderly Residents, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, March 6, 2012