Triple Fatal Raises Concerns About Older Drivers

July 10, 2012 Updated Jul 10, 2012 at 9:59 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

July 10, 2012 Updated Jul 10, 2012 at 9:59 PM EDT

GRAND ISLAND N.Y. (WKBW) New York State Police say 87-year old Richard Hildebrand, of Kenmore, caused the triple-fatal accident on a section of the I-190 on Grand Island early Monday morning,

Police say Hildebrand was driving the wrong way on the interstate when he crashed nearly head-on into a car containing 4 young men from Michigan.

Three of the passengers were instantly killed. The 22-year old driver, Burhanur Rahman, is still in critical condition at the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC).

Richard Hildebrand is also in critical condition at ECMC.

The accident has raised questions about senior drivers and the risk they pose.

Local driving experts say age is not a good indicator of a person's ability to operate a car, but it can be affected by other factors such as health and medication.

The AAA of Western New York offers a special program for senior drivers called "Keeping the Keys." Registration and information is available by calling 1-800-836-CLUB (2582).

The Erie County Medical Center offers a driver evaluation program that focuses on a medical evaluation of the older driver. More information is available by calling (716) 898-3000.

The debate over senior drivers prompted new Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs to issue the following statement:

"A peron's chronological age is not an absolute predictor of driving ability, but it does bear a thoughtful deliberation. Ultimately, what counts on the road is performance. I encourage all motorists to consider taking driver improvement courses to sharpen their skills, learn up-to-date driving techniques and potentially receive a discount on their insurance."