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Elderly Drivers at Risk for Tennessee Car Accidents

A Tennessee car accident sent an elderly couple to the Middle Tennessee Medical Center after their pickup truck was struck by a van and flipped over at Medical Center Parkway and Gateway Boulevard. The couple was stuck in their vehicle and had to be freed from the wreckage by responding emergency personnel.

This intersection where the accident occurred has no traffic light and is mostly used by ambulances to access Middle Tennessee Medical Center’s emergency room, according to The Daily News Journal.

Our Maryville car accident lawyers understand that elderly drivers may be more vulnerable to accidents on our roadways. A number of seniors are traveling our roadways with Alzheimer’s and have the strong possibility of getting lost at the wheel as well. Luckily, there are a number of programs, systems and devices that can assist these seniors and their families to reunite if they happen to wander off. One of the main, interactive systems is the Silver Alert system.

“It’s just a good idea for the whole community to understand that more and more, with the increased population, there are going to be more situations where seniors are going to get in trouble,” says Aging Services Manager Marie Alcorn.

The Silver Alert program first began in Oklahoma back on in 2005. Florida’s was another state to take hold of the program, considering they have 4.45 million residents over 60 and another 1.7 million over 75. Tennessee was the ninth state to implement a Silver Alert system.

Typically, when an elderly person, with either Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia, drives off to points unknown, the program initiates a plea for the public to be on the lookout. In most Silver Alert systems the missing person must also be 60-years-old or older and there must be “a clear indication” that the person has suffered some deterioration of “intellectual facilities.” That’s not the case in Tennessee. The only thing our Silver Alert requires is that local law enforcement report the missing person within four hours to the National Crime Information Center.

Silver Alerts are publicized on overhead signs on Interstate highways and toll roads.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 60 percent of Alzheimer’s patients will, at least once in their life, get up, wander, drive off and become lost.

“We pull out all the stops to find someone who’s gone missing,” explains Blount County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Marian O’Briant.

There are other options to keep an eye on your elderly loved ones. A number of GPS systems can be used to track the person in possession of them. OnStar and other in-car systems can also locate a vehicle when it has turned up missing. A number of these services are being used to keep an eye on the older population. These devices are easy to use, quick to install and come at a variety of prices, depending on what best suits your needs.

Helping older loved ones decide when it’s time to hang up the keys is critical to helping them reduce their risk of causing a car accident in Knoxville, Maryville or elsewhere in Tennessee.

If you or a loved one is injured or killed in an accident in Tennessee, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Knoxville injury lawyers and Maryville accident attorneys. Call (877) 472-5657.

Additional Resources:

Tennessee’s new Silver Alert causing some confusion, by Jill McNeal,

More Blog Entries:

Smokies Relief Pitcher Involved in Hit-and-run Knoxville Car Accident,Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, June 22, 2011

Teen Driver Dies in Tennessee Car Accident,Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, June 6, 2011

Improving Economy will Increase Risk for Car Accidents in Maryville, Knoxville,Tennessee Injury Attorney Blog, April 9, 2011

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