Helping an Elderly Loved One Stay Safe on the Roads
Every part of our body slows a bit as we age. Some people experience it more dramatically than others. With age, some of the most important physical functions result in a significant decline which renders us a safety risk on the road. Vision loss and declining reaction time in addition to reduced cognitive function make a big difference for drivers. Not only do we naturally begin to diminish in the sharpness we had when we were younger, but the majority of elderly individuals are also on a number of different medications. These medications can have adverse reactions in seniors which impair their ability to drive safely and effectively.
Older Drivers On The Roads
It is a fact, people age. As the population of aging adults grows, there are more mature individuals driving on the roads. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates the following:
- More than 40 million elderly drivers, aged 65 and older, were on the roads in 2015. These adults represented a 50% increase in elderly drivers from 16 years before in 1999.
- Also in 2015, there were close to 7,000 elderly adults who lost their lives in traffic accidents as well as 260,00 who sustained injuries. Every single day that year crashes caused 19 deaths and 712 injuries in older adults.
Those who are 65 and older have a high risk for accidents that result in death and injuries. As age increases, the risks for serious crashes also rise. At 70-74 there is a significant jump in fatalities from car crashes. When people reach 85 years and older they are at their highest risk for fatal crashes. One of the main reasons behind the high fatality rate is the slowed ability or inability to recover from injuries. Medical complications from injury are much higher in those aged 65 and older. Sometimes an injury that wouldn’t give a younger individual a second thought, can prove fatal for an older individual.
How Can Your Elderly Loved One Reduce Transportation Injuries
- Ensure you understand the medical conditions your loved one has in addition to the medications they take to determine if the symptoms they cause can be hazardous for driving. You can talk with their doctor and their pharmacist to understand the complexities of their condition and medicines.
- Always stay up to date with medical testing such as eye exams. The eyes can change dramatically in a year and what was once feasible strength to drive may quickly turn into a problem for traveling.
- Ensure that your loved one knows their route and where they are going before they hit the road. Making sure that there is easy parking and that they are avoiding driving during very busy times of the day such as a rush hour is helpful.
- Don’t drive when the weather is bad.
- Offer to drive your loved one to their appointments and activities or help connect them with a car ride service and/or public transportation.
The Arizona automobile accident attorneys at ELG know it that it is difficult for any independent adult to face the reality that they must limit their driving. When accidents with injuries occur, you need effective and resourceful legal representation to obtain the most compensation for your damages. The bilingual team of Phoenix serious injury attorneys at ELG will help you with your personal injury claim after an accident.
Call us at (623) 562-3838 to schedule your free consultation at either of our locations in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona.