Two people were injured in a San Francisco car accident after an elderly woman driving west on the eastbound Highway 80 crashed head-on into another vehicle. According to a KTVU news report, the crash occurred the evening of October 28, 2009 on the highway near Cummings Skyway. California Highway Patrol officials say the woman was driving a Chevy Lumina when she slammed head-on into a Volkswagen Jetta. The elderly woman sustained major injuries. The driver of the Jetta was also taken to the hospital, but the nature of that victim’s injuries is not known.
My heart goes out to both the injured drivers, in this terrible car accident. I hope they recover quickly and completely. Please keep them their families in your prayers.
Car Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), 65 fatalities and 3,722 injuries were reported involving car accident cases in Contra Costa County. California now has almost 3 million drivers who are 65 years or older, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. A recent study by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows fatality rates for drivers begin to climb after age 65. In 2005, about 11 percent of fatal traffic accidents in the United States involved drivers 65 or older.
The news report does not say what caused the elderly woman to incorrectly enter the highway and drive the wrong way. Was she intoxicated or under the influence of prescription drugs? Did she have a medical condition, which impaired her judgment? Did she have a valid driver’s license?
Car Accident Involving Elderly Drivers
Unfortunately, many of our seniors continue to drive when they should not be driving. I understand their need and necessity to be independent. But that autonomy should not come at the expense of public safety. It is also unfortunate that California laws do not necessarily require elderly drivers to pass road tests when renewing their licenses. In many cases the license can be renewed through the mail. These road tests can be very important because they help determine a drivers’ physical ability and mental awareness.
The victim — the driver of the Jetta — would be well-advised to contact an experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyer who will be able to better explain his or her legal rights and options. In such cases, injured victims may seek compensation to cover medical expenses, cost of hospitalization, property damage, loss of wages and other related damages. A knowledgeable San Francisco personal injury attorney should also tell victims how their car insurance applies to a car accident where the other driver is uninsured or lacks sufficient insurance coverage.
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.