When people reach a certain age, they may be required to stop driving because they no longer have the skills that are needed for it. Determining whether an elderly is still fit to drive can be a difficult process, considering that he has been allowed to operate a vehicle for many years. Being prohibited from driving is not easy, but overlooking the problem may cause the occurrence of car accidents.
A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic safety shows that drivers who are 65-years-old and above are more likely to involved in road accidents compared to younger ones. Meanwhile, drivers who are 85-years-old and above are almost four times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash compared to teen drivers.
On the brighter side, older drivers do not cause many motorist and pedestrian deaths because they are more likely to comply with traffic rules. In short, the problem does not lie on their behavior, but on the effects of aging when it comes to their driving skills.
Here are different effects of aging, which can make driving a dangerous activity for the elderly:
- Slower reflexes - An elderly driver may need more time to react to unexpected dangers. This means he may not easily avoid reckless pedestrians or drivers who ignore traffic rules.
- Poor vision - It impedes drivers from immediately seeing important traffic signs, other drivers, lane lines, and pedestrians. Examples of eye conditions that are often suffered by older people include muscular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts. Meanwhile, night vision can cause them to have problems when they see the glare of headlights.
- Health conditions - Mental and health conditions that are common to seniors like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease can greatly affect their judgment and agility while they are behind the wheel. Meanwhile, seniors might suddenly lose control of the vehicle if they suffered from a heart attack, which is a common medical problem for them.
- Effects of over-the-counter and prescribed medicines - People who are 65-years-old and above are required to take more medicines compared to others. These medicines can cause confusion or drowsiness and prevent drivers from focusing on the roads.
If an elderly driver causes an accident and you were injured due to it, you have the right to file a case against him with the assistance of a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. This legal expert will gather evidence which shows that that the other driver chose to continue driving, though he is aware that his driving skills are already impaired by his condition.