Started by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Older Driver Safety Awareness Week runs December 1 to December 5. The goal of the week-long observance is to help seniors and their families adapt to transportation needs with age and help elderly drivers avoid auto accidents.
While it’s important to respect our elders, it’s also important for senior citizens to respect and abide by the rules of the road. The effects of aging can increase the risk of auto accidents involving seniors by compromising the key faculties needed for safe driving.
Getting older is different for everyone, and some seniors can be on the road safely well into their golden years. However, all elderly drivers and their families should be aware of potentially hazardous declines in:
- Vision: The risk of serious eye conditions like cataracts and glaucoma increases with age, as well as decreased visual acuity and problems with night vision.
- Hearing: Hearing loss can make it difficult to hear car horns, sirens, and other audio cues to changes in traffic and driving conditions.
- Muscles and joints: Weakened bones and sore, inflamed soft tissue can make physically operating a car difficult and diminish reaction time.
- Focus: Drivers who develop confusion and other cognitive impairments have trouble processing a continuous stream of information while behind the wheel.
- Memory: Disorders like dementia can gradually undo years of safe driving skills, familiarity with one’s surroundings, and more.
Certain medications also carry physical and mental side effects that could cause difficulties with driving. If you believe your loved one is a danger on the road, talk to them before a catastrophic crash occurs.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident caused by a reckless driver of any age, you might be entitled to compensation. Please contact Jim Leach, L.C., or call 1 304-865-8530 today for a no-cost consultation with our Morgantown attorneys.