Should Older Adults Stop Driving?
Driving means independence and this freedom is just as important to the young when they first get their license as it is to older adults. There is no doubt that both young drivers and older drivers have higher incidents of accidents.
There were over 40 million drivers over the age of 65 in the country in 2015. Almost 7,000 died in crashes while 260,000 required treatment in a hospital for their serious injuries. In 2015, there were 19 older adults killed in crashes and 712 older adults injured each day that year.
How Aging Affects The Ability To Drive
As we age, we simply are not as alert as we were when we were younger. Our senses slow and dull, vision becomes less sharp, hearing becomes duller, reaction time decreases, and our brain’s capacity dwindles.
Not every older adult suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, but if this disease is present in the body before an individual recognizes it, the results can be not only dangerous but deadly when they get behind the wheel. An aging brain deteriorates, just like our muscles reduce over time. How can forgetfulness or memory loss affect a driver? Older adults suffering from these deficiencies may forget directions, the rules of the road, may get started when they realize they don’t know where they are and make a rash decision on the road. Many outcomes can happen if your mind isn’t in control and alert while driving and all of them are negative.
How Family Can Help Older Members Stop Driving
It is often clearer and more acceptable for the family members of older adults to recognize the need for them to stop driving. This reality may not even occur to an elderly individual or if it does, they may actively choose to ignore it. It is oftentimes tough to speak to loved ones who you believe need to stop driving. Luckily for residents of Arizona, the state’s laws are on your side and can help.
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, regulations for older drivers include:
- Drivers over the age of 65 are required to renew their license in person only.
- Drivers aged 65 and older must take a vision test.
- Drivers over the age of 65 must renew their license every 5 years.
- If a driver over the age of 65 with a medical condition that hinders their driving ability they must notify the Medical Review Program.
- If family, loved ones, or a medical professional suspect an unsafe driver, they can request the Arizona DOT to investigate.
- Those who are over the age of 65 that have been reported to be impaired may face a road test by the DOT before license renewal.
Even with these extra precautions by the Arizona DOT, accidents and the elderly are still highly linked and far too common. If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, the Phoenix serious injury attorneys at ELG can help you with your personal injury claim. We will fight on your behalf so that you can obtain the highest amount of compensation for your damages.
Our experienced team of Phoenix car accident attorney has your back after an accident where you sustained injuries. Call the attorneys at ELG today and set up a free consultation. We are here to discuss your accident experience at either our Phoenix or Mesa personal injury law offices at (623) 562-3838.