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Elderly Driver Strikes 4 Children on the Beach

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An SUV accident at Ormond-by-the-Sea has made national headlines after the SUV tore through a wooden barrier and struck four children playing on the beach.

According to the report, William Johns tried to make a U-turn on Road A1A and ended drifting onto the shoulder. He then lost control of the vehicle, which went through a parking lot and onto a ramp before dropping 20 feet onto the sand.

The four children were playing on the beach while their mother took things to the family’s vehicle. She was returning to the beach when the SUV struck her children. Three of the four children were taken to a local hospital after the accident, while a 5-year-old was airlifted to a different hospital due to a head wound. All are expected to recover.

The Problem of Elderly Drivers

The driver in the accident was 82-years-old. Some have speculated that he might have suffered a medical event while driving, but this remains unconfirmed. The police have gone to the hospital to talk with the driver, who received a ticket for careless driving. The troopers also recommended that his license be re-examined.

It’s no secret that Americans are living longer, and Florida has long served as a haven for retirees. Tens of millions of Americans continue to drive through their 70s and on into their 80s (and beyond). However, seniors tend to show impairments that can make driving dangerous:

  • Poorer eyesight
  • Nighttime vision problems
  • Slower reflexes and reaction times
  • Irritability
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty concentrating

Of course, many seniors also drive less, so this reduces the chances that they will strike someone. There is also no bright-line in which it is unsafe to drive. Everything depends on the individual driver. Nevertheless, seniors aged 80 and up have the highest rates of involvement in fatal accidents when  measured by mile driven.

If an elderly relative still drives, pay close attention to any “near misses” that they have or if they get lost while out on the road. These might be signs that you should have a doctor discuss whether your loved one should continue driving.

What to Do When Struck by an Elderly Driver

An accident involving an elderly driver is similar to any other accident. You should call the police to come to the scene and swap insurance information. Record as much information as you can to help establish who is at fault. In some situations, you can sue for compensation.

However, there is one key difference—the elderly driver is at a higher risk of suffering a serious medical event during a collision, even if the driver is at fault. Ask the driver if he needs an ambulance and call one just to be safe if you think the driver is acting unusual. Even if you weren’t to blame for the crash, it is the right thing to do.

Representing Injured Motorists for Decades

If you have been in an accident, contact Bundza & Rodriguez today. We are experienced Daytona Beach car accident lawyers who have obtained millions of dollars in settlements for our injured clients. We are eager to serve you, so please call 386-252-5170. We offer a free, confidential initial consultation.

Resources:

cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/older_adult_drivers/index.html

washingtonpost.com/national/suv-crashes-through-barrier-hits-4-kids-on-florida-beach/2019/03/21/860d657a-4be7-11e9-8cfc-2c5d0999c21e_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.c7e29e409e37

https://www.daytonalawyers.com/car-accidents-and-eye-injuries/

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