One person was hurt after a Metra train hit a car in Midlothian. Witnesses to the accident report that the car went through railroad track gates on Crawford Avenue and then either stopped or slowed on the train tracks. WLS Radio reports that there was a lone occupant in the car, an 86-year-old man who was taken to South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest.
Authorities have cited the man for failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash and for running the railroad gates. This is one of many car accidents involving elderly drivers to make headlines lately. In late August, a 100-year-old man backed his car onto a sidewalk and ran over almost a dozen people, including several schoolchildren, outside of an elementary school in South Los Angeles. In September, an elderly Granite City woman was killed when her car turned in front of oncoming traffic on Illinois 3 near Schaefer Road.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Administration indicate that drivers over 80 are more likely to get into a car accident per mile driven than any other age group. The rate of car accidents for older drivers begins to climb at age 70 and spikes once drivers hit their 80’s. It is generally the health issues associated with advanced age that limit a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely including vision problems and early onset dementia from Alzheimer’s disease.