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NHTSA announce plan to improve safety for elderly drivers

Wisconsin drivers may be interested to learn that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, announced on Dec. 8 a plan that will help elderly drivers be safer while driving. According to the report, elderly drivers are actually the safest group that uses national roadways but, as the number of elderly drivers increases, they also are becoming more at risk for injuries and death.

The NHTSA data from 2012 showed that more than 5,500 elderly drivers were killed and 214,000 suffered injuries. Additionally, 2012 also saw an increase in injuries or death caused by low-severity car accidents. The NHTSA plans to respond to this data over the next five years by focusing on the safety of vehicles, data collection and driver behavior.

For example, the NHTSA will implement a 'Silver" rating system, which will inform older drivers about the safety aspects of a particular vehicle. For data collection, the NHTSA plans to educate the public regarding driver behavior that is gleaned through data collection. This data collection will also help the NHTSA identify functional issues associated with older drivers, including the driver's cognition and vision. Finally, the NHTSA released the Older Driver Highway Safety Program Guidelines on Dec. 8.

Becoming involved in a car accident can result in huge consequences for those who are injured. Especially for older individuals, a serious injury could have an impact on the person's health and quality of life. However, those who are injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to seek compensation. For example, this compensation may be able to cover a wide range of damages, including medical costs and lost income if the injured person was still working.

Source: USA Today, "Feds making new rules for senior drivers", Matt Schmitz, December 08, 2013

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