Traffic increases as do auto accidents in South Florida during the winter months due to a change in traffic flow and the population increase from snowbirds flocking south. Because Florida is a popular destination for those in the northeast who want to escape frigid winters in exchange for sunshine, retired snowbirds tend to stay in Florida for six months out of the year from October to April and then return to a northern state they call home.
While snowbirds aid our local economy by giving restaurants and stores business, they also increase traffic and add to a large portion of annual car crashes in the Sunshine State. When thousands of older drivers are concentrated in a small area, like Sarasota, an increase in traffic accidents occurs.
Some of the reasons why elderly drivers over the age of 70 are at a greater rate for causing a crash include:
- Recklessly pulling out into traffic – Many older drivers are in the cars that are struck because they pull out in front of traffic when it is not safe to do so. This may be because they have difficulty estimating distance.
- Making unsafe lane changes – Elderly drivers may not look before they change lanes and they may fail to signal.
- Failing to yield the right-of-way – Older drivers sometimes forgot the driving rules or don’t see the other motorist, pedestrian, or bicyclist and fail to yield to them.
- Problems with vision – Poor sight affects the elderly population and the effects spill over into their driving.
- Decreased reflexes – Senior citizens move slower, drive slower, and have slower reflexes that could contribute to a wreck.
- Dementia – Seniors who forget where they are going or have trouble remembering things may not have a good sense of location.
- Medical issues – An elderly driver is more likely to develop a medical problem, such as a stroke or heart attack, which could prevent them from driving safely.
If you are injured in a Sarasota car accident by a senior driver during this snowbird season, please call the Mallard Law Firm for legal representation. Our Sarasota accident attorneys can investigate your case, help you protect your interests, and fight to get you compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today for a free consultation at 888-409-3805 and request a free copy of our book What You Need to Know After a Florida Auto, Truck or Bike Accident.