Florida is the Sunshine State. Living up to its name, the state boasts a sub-tropical climate and coastal cities that lure vacationers from all over the country. Without a doubt, Florida’s conditions make it a haven for retirees and other older people to visit during the winter. This “migration” even sparked the term for these individuals — snowbirds. As the number of snowbirds climbs, so does the number of car accidents in the state.
For years, Florida has been one of several states that rank on the higher side when it comes to car accidents. Not only is the Sunshine State home to a high number of car accidents — it is also the setting for a high percentage of car crash fatalities for senior citizens.
Read on to learn more about car accidents in Florida and how older drivers contribute to the number of incidences.
What Do We Mean by “Older Drivers”?
The term “older” needs to be clarified. Most commonly acknowledge older drivers to be above 60. In the case of Florida, this description applies. However, since most car accident statistics tally more drivers over the age of 65, it is safe to consider 65 as the median age.
The Center for Disease Control also agrees that the age of older drivers is around 65 years of age. As of 2018, there were an estimated 45 million drivers above the age of 65.
How Dangerous Can Driving be for Older Motorists in Florida?
Florida ranks high in car accidents involving older drivers. Part of this has to do with the number of people over the age of 65 in the state.
As of 2019, Florida is home to an estimated four million senior citizens. This represents roughly 20% of the state’s total population. With nearly all members of the age bracket driving for their needs, the risk for accidents increases — both for the older driver and their fellow motorists.
The CDC points out that drivers need all of their senses intact and sharp to drive safely. With older drivers susceptible to declines in perception and cognition, most accidents in the state involve the age group.
Also, the danger of car accidents to older drivers can also be attributed to the decline in their health conditions. According to the Florida Department of Transportation, there is a higher chance that an older driver dies from a car accident.
The dangers older drivers pose to themselves and other motorists in the state are serious. For this reason, the Florida Department of Transportation requires drivers over the age of 80 to renew their licenses every six years. This allows the department to regulate the number of older drivers on the road.
What Does This Mean for You?
The statistics are not meant to point the finger at drivers over 65. Rather, you would be better off knowing the statistics to get an idea of how dangerous driving can be. This is especially true if you are over the age of 65.
Of course, in an ideal world, it is better to have someone drive for you. However, if you need to get around using your motor vehicle, be sure to observe the following road safety rules set by the CDC:
- Wear a seatbelt at all times.
- Ask your physician if any of your medications can affect your ability to drive.
- Drive only when the weather or road conditions are safe.
- Never partake of alcohol before driving.
- Drive along well-lit streets at night.
Car Accidents in Florida Do Happen. Call a Personal Injury Lawyer if You’ve Been in One
Florida is an at-fault state, meaning that you will need to prove the other party’s liability in the event of a car accident. You will need the aid of an experienced attorney specializing in car accidents and personal injuries.
At Fetterman and Associates PA, we have a track record that spans four decades. Call us now a for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.