Imagine that you are making a graph of Illinois drivers and their risks of getting into auto accidents. On the vertical axis, you have the prevalence of accidents; and on the horizontal axis, you have the drivers’ ages. The graph would look like an inverted bell curve (or U-shape), with the safest drivers being in the middle of the age axis (i.e. people in their 40s and 50s), and the riskiest drivers being at the edges (i.e., the youngest and oldest drivers).
The takeaway? Even though much is written about the frequency of auto accidents involving teens and young adults, it’s important to realize that the “more elderly” a driver is, the likelier it is for he or she to be involved in a crash.
This point was illustrated in Springfield earlier this month. Back on the morning of Monday, October 7, an 89-year old man was driving a vehicle on Interstate 72 between 6th Street (Interstate 55) and MacArthur Boulevard – but he was driving the wrong way. Subsequently, the elderly man’s vehicle struck two other vehicles head-on. Miraculously, only a 45-year old female driver of one of the victimized vehicles was hurt, and her injuries were non-life threatening. The 89-year old was hospitalized with serious injuries.
It’s unclear exactly why the elderly man was driving the wrong way on the interstate. But it’s clear that he will be held responsible for the head-on collision and the injuries to the woman. This means that even though the elderly man suffered more serious injuries than her, the woman could still file a personal injury lawsuit against the 89-year old. This suit could allow her to collect reimbursement for medical expenses (like ambulance charges, hospitalization costs, medications, and physical therapy sessions), monetary damages for pain and suffering, and unearned wages from work absenteeism.