Older people may be more prone to distracted driving

Most drivers are well aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Despite knowing how dangerous is it is to engage in other activities while behind the wheel of a vehicle, people still do it. You have probably shared the road with other South Carolina drivers who are eating, texting, looking at Facebook or watching GPS navigation.

Even a second of distraction can have devastating consequences. While younger drivers often take much of the blame for distracted driving, studies show that older drivers are more likely to look away from the road for longer periods of time. No matter the age of the person driving, he or she is responsible for choices made as well as the consequences of a distracted driving accident.

Older drivers and technology

In many ways, technology makes lives easier and better. There are times, however, when technology can actually be a safety threat. This often happens when technology and driving overlap. There are many new technological advances in vehicles now, including Bluetooth connectivity with phones, GPS, voice-activated commands and more. These can be nice, but they can also be quite distracting. 

Studies have shown that older drivers are prone to distraction by these features more often than younger drivers. They are more likely to shift their gazes back and forth from the dashboard screen to the road. Tests suggest that drivers age 55 and up take up to eight seconds longer to use technological tools in their vehicles. This is extremely dangerous. Road tests have also found that voice commands can be distracting as it causes a person to lose focus.

Building good habits behind the wheel 

Drivers should work to develop good habits behind the wheel, especially if they are prone to distraction. This means programming GPS systems before moving the vehicle out of the driveway, putting the phone away and training yourself to avoid doing unnecessary tasks while driving.

This can be especially important for older drivers. With a large portion of the population aging, distraction due to in-car technology may increase. By the year 2030, more than one-fifth of the drivers on the road will be age 65 and up. 

Are you a victim?

Every person is accountable for the choices made behind the wheel. If you are the victim of an accident caused by distracted driving, you have the right to seek financial compensation for your losses, injuries and other damages. Seeking an evaluation of your case as soon as possible after an accident can help you discover the legal options available.

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