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How old is too old to drive?
On Saturday, March 24th, 95-year old Lakewood resident, Raymond Gillick drove into oncoming traffic and crashed head-on into another vehicle. Soon after the collision, Gillick was taken to a hospital where he later died. In light of Gillick's age, many are calling into question his age and whether it played a part in the collision.
How old is too old to drive?
There are safety measures and regulations in place to prevent underage driving. It’s been shown that young people often lack the cognitive development and maturity needed to safely operate a vehicle before a certain age, meanwhile elderly drivers are permitted to continue renewing their license, regardless of age. But after this weekend’s crash, questions resurface on what age is too old to drive.
Under current law, older drivers can continue operating a vehicle unless an incident occurs which calls into question their ability to drive. Highway officials often claim that old age isn’t necessarily an impediment to driving ability, and in many cases, this may be true. But some are wondering if this is the best way to look at the situation.
As the body ages, vision suffers, reaction time slows, and mental acuity can fade.
But this kind of bodily deterioration happens differently for everyone. While there is no standard timeframe in which the body declines, elderly drivers are granted uninhibited access to the roads.
As of now, we still need to share the road with aging drivers. But there are numerous signs you can look out for to prevent an accident. Take note of the following personality changes or behaviors:
- Slowed reflexes
- Declining vision
- Compromised depth perception
- Drowsiness due to medication or otherwise
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Confusion or forgetfulness
Look for these physical signs, if you have elderly friends or family that continue to operate a vehicle in their old age:
- Dings and dents on their car
- Frequent traffic tickets and violations
- Minor or major collisions
If you see any of these signs on the road - elderly driver or not - notify the police before they result in a crash:
- Sudden lane changes
- Slamming on brakes
- Accelerating quickly
- Lane drifting
- Forgetting to signal repeatedly
- Ignoring red lights and stop signs
- Confusing the brake pedal and the gas pedal
Our elders and senior citizens deserve the best care and concern, and sometimes that will mean taking away their keys. If you know someone who needs to be pulled off the road, it may be time to sit down and have a serious conversation.
It can be humbling for a senior citizen to give up their driving independence. But for their safety and that of other drivers, have the conversation sooner rather than later.
What is the "three-second-rule?"
Also known as the "two-second-rule" in some states, it is a suggested guideline for the distance that a driver should stay from other vehicles. The rule recommends at least three seconds (time it takes to stop) behind any vehicle that is directly in front. It is intended for automobiles, although it can generally apply to most other vehicles.
How do I "drive defensively" without driving aggressively?
Driving defensively simply means being cautious, being on the lookout, so to speak. Let's break it down to some simple steps:
Put a few car lengths between you and the car in front of you—obeying the “three second rule.”
Use your peripheral vision
Check your blind spots, glancing in all your mirrors
Use your turn signal before changing lanes
I was a driver in an accident and my car was not insured, but the accident wasn’t my fault. Can I sue the driver responsible for my injuries?
In New Jersey it is illegal to operate a vehicle without auto insurance. As such, if you have a vehicle that is registered in NJ but is not insured, you cannot sue the driver responsible for your injuries….even if he or she is 100% liable for the accident. If you have a vehicle registered you are required to have auto insurance and failure to do so prohibits you from suing.
In fact, if you are issued a summons for driving without insurance, for a first offense, you may be fined anywhere from $300 to $1,000 and can have your license suspended one year. You may also be required to complete community service hours, which would be determined by the court.
Second offenses and beyond can result in higher fines, additional community service, loss of license and even imprisonment.
So, if you have a car registered in NJ but you do not have auto insurance, get it insured now…before you are involved in an accident. Will save you a lot of headache and probably a lot of money.
What is the most common injury in the winter?
Broken bones or a sprained back, the most common injuries occur due to navigating snow and ice. Watch where you walk, slow down on the road, and use proper form when shoveling. Check out this article for more tips on staying safe this season!
Can I sue if I get hurt on someone's property while trick-or-treating?
If negligence or fault can be found on the part of the property owner, yes you may have a case.
If you get hurt this Halloween, it may be wise to consult an attorney before too much time lapses, making it more difficult to prove where and when you sustained your injuries. Questions? Give us a call or drop us a line.
Check out these Halloween Safety Tips for ways to keep trick-or-treaters safe!
Don't helmets interfere with my ability to see on the road?
A study sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has shown that riders wearing helmets are no less able to see cars in adjacent lanes. Helmets have only a minor effect on one’s lateral field of vision, which is easily compensated for by turning one’s head slightly. What’s more, the full face helmets that this myth refers to also save the eyes from the constant force and pressure of the wind, which certainly do impact vision.
Consider the following statistics:
- Helmets reduce the likelihood of a fatal accident by 35%. In other words, for every 100 un-helmeted riders killed on the road, 35 would have survived if all had worn helmets. Percent effectiveness would be significantly higher if only deaths from head injuries were considered.
- In 2007, helmets saved the lives of an estimated 1,784 motorcyclists.
- California’s mandatory helmet law, for example, reduced the cost of head injuries from motorcycle accidents from $36.6 million in 1991 to $15.9 million in 1992. That's more than half!
- An average of several studies put the hospital charges of injured non-helmeted riders at 30% higher than their helmet-wearing counterparts.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, get help. Our initial consults are totally free and without obligation. We're here to help.
What is the most common summertime injury?
While there are disagreements on which is the most common injury, among the top are:
Heat-related injury or illness
- Sunburn or sun poisoning
Prevent it by covering up, slathering up (sunblock of SPF 50+), staying out of the sun for extended periods of time, and keeping a water bottle with you at all times (and remember to drink!)
- Diving or swimming in unsafe areas
Avoid swimming without a life-guard present. Parents, do not leave children unattended - even if they're seasoned swimmers. Obey signs that advise against diving in shallow pools, or swimming in treacherous waters. Exercise extreme caution when diving or swimming near boats.
Prequalified vs. Preapproved: What's the difference?
Contrary to common misconception, prequalification is not the same as preapproval. Prequalifying for a mortgage doesn’t guarantee the amount you’ll be able to borrow. It’s only an estimate based on unverified finances. Preapproval provides you a more concrete number to work with, as lenders run your credit and verify your income prior to approving you for any amount. This is a much more solid number you can use to negotiate with sellers.
What is included in the NJ Move Over Law?
This law requires drivers to reduce speed to less than the posted speed limit; be prepared to stop; and make a lawful lane change to at least one lane away from law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances, and in some cases, tow trucks. Violators would face a maximum $500 fine.
On Monday May 1st, 2017, Govenor Chris Christie signed “Michael Massey’s Law,” which is named for Michael Massey, a Freehold man who was killed when he was hit by a car while performing sanitation worker duties in Ocean Township.
The amended law now includes sanitation workers because of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Beck, R-Monmouth.