A 28-year-old New Bedford man was killed in a Taunton car crash today. State police say the accident occurred when an 81-year-old Rhode Island woman lost control of her Buick Century while exiting Route 24 onto Route 140 north. They say she drove across a median and slammed into the driver’s side door of the man’s Oldsmobile Bravada SUV, causing a rollover. The man was ejected from the vehicle. He was not wearing a seatbelt. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Providence’s Rhode Island Hospital, and the woman suffered serious injuries. No one is facing civil or criminal consequences yet, but the investigation continues.
This is the second Massachusetts fatal car accident in weeks involving an elderly driver. About 8 percent of fatal crashes in our state involve a driver over the age of 75. Of course, this may be because elderly persons are less likely to survive a crash than younger individuals. Still, some may be alarmed by the fact that drivers age 75 or older account for 7 percent of license holders and 3.6 percent of all crashes in our state.
There are many possible factors that contribute to the frequency of older-driver accidents. As we age, it may become more difficult to see or read signs, navigate complex intersections and stay alert. Health conditions such as hearing and vision loss, dementia, and decreased reaction time (as well as taking medications to treat medical conditions) can cause elderly-driver crashes.
No matter our ages, we can all decrease dangers to others and ourselves by making sure that we are able to drive safely before we get on the road.
The Boston Globe, New Bedford man killed in Route 24 crash in Taunton, State Police say
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