A multiple-vehicle crash on Tuesday afternoon left a 70-year-old woman critically injured after she failed to slow down at an intersection and crashed into several vehicles.
The five vehicles that were involved in the accident were stopped at the intersection of Irvine Boulevard and Prospect Avenue just before 1 p.m. Several of the drivers and occupants of those cars were taken to the hospital as well.
Firefighters from the Orange County Fire Authority had to use heavy machinery to extract a woman from the red Ford Festiva that she was driving.
The 70-year-old woman was driving a red Ford Mustang in the westbound lanes of Irvine Boulevard at 50-60 mph when she failed to see that traffic was stopped ahead, according to Tustin police officer Sgt. Duane Havourd.
She crashed into the back of one of the cars, causing it to fly forward into the rear end of another car. This caused a multiple car pile-up, according to witnesses.
The woman was transported to the Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where she was listed in critical condition.
Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Marc Stone said that a driver of another vehicle suffered traumatic head injuries and was also taken to the same hospital.
The two female passengers of the third vehicle involved sustained minor injuries. They were transported to a different hospital for treatment and evaluation.
Authorities are unsure if alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident.
Predictions from research show that the number of elderly drivers in the United States will triple over the next 20 years. As elderly drivers have an increasing presence on our roads, it is important for other drivers to be aware of the dangers that surround their declining capabilities.
Older drivers are generally more conservative while driving, which could be potentially dangerous because they second-guess their abilities.
Statistics show that older drivers are significantly more likely to be involved in accidents than younger drivers, especially when they are at intersections.
After the age of 75, statistics also show that the risk of driver fatality sharply increases and makes the drivers more vulnerable to both injury and death.
Senior citizens represent 5% of all people involved in traffic crashes and make up 13% of all traffic-related deaths. Elderly drivers are also responsible for causing 18% of all pedestrian accidents on the roads of the United States.
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