A crash in Henrietta took the life of an elderly woman this week. Floradada Moore, 82 years old, was driving a red Taurus near U.S. 82 and Omega last Monday. KFDX News Channel Three reports that she was struck by a semi-truck when she failed to yield the right of way. She was immediately transported to United Regional Hospital in Wichita Falls and was pronounced dead.
Roadway safety for elderly drivers is becoming a growing concern for many Texoma citizens. We recently reported on a case involving a $5.2 million judgment for an injured motorcyclist. The Hudson Oaks motorcyclist suffered from multiple injuries and lost a leg in a wreck involving an elderly driver who was going the wrong way down an exit ramp. During the case, information was brought to light about the roadway fitness of the 83-year-old driver. She had barely passed a driver’s test on her fifth try. For senior citizens, it may be difficult to give up driving. Some people think that the current system for evaluating elderly driver fitness just isn’t working. Currently, Texas law requires people who are 79 years old or older to renew their licenses in person. At age 85, they are required to renew every two years. Jerry Wall, the motorcyclist who was injured, is hoping Texas enacts stricter laws that limit renewal terms and require mandatory testing at younger ages.
Other drivers aren’t the only ones who are in danger. Seniors are at risk too. With declining vision and physical health, elderly drivers are especially susceptible to sustaining injuries in motor vehicle wrecks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that over 5,500 older adults were killed in wrecks in 2008. In addition, more than 183,000 older adults were injured during that time. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety fatal crashes increase at age 75 and grow notably after age 80. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports that adults aged 65 and older made up 15 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2008.
Jerry Wall and many other concerned citizens hope to raise awareness about elderly drivers and roadway safety. One doesn’t have to give up independence just because he or she stops driving. Concerned family members and friends can speak to the elderly drivers in their lives about safe driving practices and safe alternative means of transportation. The team at the Altman Legal Group sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Floradada Moore.