Older Drivers Are Most Likely to Have a Car Accident While Turning Left.
In 2010, the South Florida Sun Sentinel analyzed data from car accidents in the Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach areas. The data showed that older drivers are most likely to have an auto accident while making a left hand turn.
Left-turn accidents can be very serious. A late left turn leaves a vehicle open to a t-bone accident. Oncoming traffic may be travelling at high speeds and serious injuries can result from these collisions.
In a recent Boynton Beach crash several people were injured and a passenger was killed after the driver of the car attempted to make a left turn and was hit by another car. The driver of the car was 73 years old. This was not an isolated accident.
In the Ft. Lauderdale area, there were 382 serious left-turn accidents in 2010 that invovled drivers over the age of 70. Drivers over the age of 70 were also more likely than younger drivers to be seriously injured in these left-turn Florida auto accidents.
Why Are Older Drivers at a Higher Risk?
The paper attributes higher crash rates for older drivers to slower response times. Often, the driver begins to make a left turn and misjudges the speed of the oncoming traffic.
The national Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has also found through its research that the most common mistake for older drivers is failure to yield the right of way.
What Can Be Done to Avoid These Crashes?
More traffic signals with designated left turn arrows may be one way to reduce these accidents.
Older drivers across Florida must be aware of the dangers. While left turns cannot always be avoided, more caution is needed as reflexes slow with age.
Source: Sun Sentinel, "Older drivers more vulnerable when making left turns," Angel Streeter and Dana Williams, May 2, 2012.