100-year-old elderly driver collides into group of children, causes serious injury: tips for families with senior drivers

Experts have long debated whether elderly drivers should be forced to retest for their driver’s license amid concerns over roadway safety. And the debate has once again unearthed itself after a 100-year-old elderly driver made headlines this week for seriously injuring a group of parents and children in Los Angeles after accidentally backing up his vehicle into the crowd.

Police say Preston Carter struck the group unknowingly, and officials suspect the car accident could have been chalked up to confusion between foot pedals. Authorities say that Carter was not under the influence of any drug or alcohol. Instead, the accident is said to have occurred by the loss of control over the car.

“It was a miscalculation on his part,” Capt. Jorge Rodriguez of the Los Angeles Police Department said according to The Los Angeles Times. “He thought he was turning onto the street.”

Carter, who will look to celebrate his 101st birthday on Sept. 1, has a clean driving record according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Nine children and two adults, ranging from ages 14 months to 48 years old, were treated at local hospitals after sustaining personal injury. Several of the individuals were left in critical but stable condition.

The accident was unfavorably reminiscent of another collision when, in July 2003, another elderly driver struck a group of pedestrians at a farmer’s market in downtown Santa Monica. That accident killed 10 people and seriously injured 60 others.

Driver’s laws for the elderly in California

In the state of California, all drivers who are 70 years or older must submit to a vision and written test every five years. Everyone else – that is, anyone under 70 – can renew their driver’s license twice every five years if their record is clean.

But are the requirements enough?

Some say no. According to some reports, older drivers may pose a serious risk to others on the road. “It’s a huge problem, and we really don’t have any solutions to it yet,” says Barbara Harsha, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association in a report at USA Today. “We need to keep moving on it and try to find solutions as quickly as possible.”

Despite the so-called doom-and-gloom, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of car accident injury for your elderly loved one.

Until tighter laws for elderly drivers are passed, here’s what you can do.

3 essential rules for elderly drivers

Rule #1 – Monitor signs of aging

An older person may not have the range of motion like they used to. Backs, necks, and even hands and feet can lose their flexibility over time. When an elderly person has a hard time moving, that might be an indicator that s/he may not be an ideal driver any longer.

Rule #2 – Keep an eye out for memory problems

A faded memory can contribute to problems on the road like forgetting to make full stops, confusing foot pedals, and parking or stopping in places that are not safe. If your elderly loved one is still driving, and you suspect a memory problem might be an issue, consider alternative ways of transportation.

Rule #3 – Make sure the vehicle is safely equipped

If your elderly loved one is still driving — and you believe they are still able to do so — then help them stay on top of vehicle maintenance. Things like replacing windshield wipers, changing the oil regularly, and checking the tires are all important steps in keeping your loved one safe.

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Related posts:

  1. SDG&E not liable for serious injury, jury says
  2. Self-driving car technology approved for road use in California
  3. BMW recall: safety regulators find 16 crashes, five injuries in latest probe
  4. Vehicle technology: Are driverless cars an inevitable part of our future roadways?
  5. Distracted driving in San Diego: a rising epidemic?

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=94448

Posted by Social Media Staff on Aug 31, 2012. Filed under Columns, Michael Pines, Sponsored Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “100-year-old elderly driver collides into group of children, causes serious injury: tips for families with senior drivers”

  1. Peter

    total BS. in majority Californian drivers do not have real driving skills.
    No full stop
    No turn signals
    Cutting angels and then slowing the speed down
    Gaining the first position at the traffic light changing the lane in front of you and then being started the last
    Plus tons of other unskilled features
    On the other side there are stupid rules based on government's desire to earn easy money:
    Freeway speed limit, everybody drives above the limit, which means we are able to do it
    Cops hidden on the road attract drivers attention from the road itself
    The loaded pick-up trucks never been checked for safety load tightness, so we see mattresses and other stuff on the highway
    and much, much more

  2. families need to take a more pro-active stand with their elderly loved ones continuing to drive. If the senior is demonstrating they can not drive the family needs to step in and take the keys away

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