Dougherty Tobias Iszard, Northern Virginia Law, P.C.

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Tech can be dangerous for older drivers

Older drivers in Virginia may be more likely to get distracted by the technology features available in their vehicles. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the University of Utah found that older drivers take longer to complete tasks such as changing a radio station. On average, drivers 55 and older took 8 seconds longer to complete such tasks compared to those aged 36 and younger. This is in spite of the fact that these tools are intended to help all drivers keep their eyes on the road at all times.

Older drivers were more likely to struggle with the complexities of center consoles or issuing voice commands. A representative from AAA said that these struggles were caused by a design flaw that had nothing to do with a driver's age. However, AAA does suggest that drivers practice using touch screens or issuing voice commands before they get on the road.

Ideally, people will avoid using such systems while driving unless they absolutely need to. Drivers who take their eyes off the road for 2 or more seconds can significantly increase their risk of getting into a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,000 people have been killed in crashes involving distracted drivers since 2017.

An individual who is injured in a car accident may have grounds for a personal injury case against the at-fault party. In some cases, multiple parties may be liable for paying a victim's medical bills or lost wages. Punitive damages may also be available in cases of gross negligence on behalf of employers or government agencies. An attorney may use police reports or video footage to show that negligence played a role in a crash occurring.

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