Senior citizens often want to keep driving as they age. They’ve been doing it for 50 years or more, and they want the freedom and independence that come along with it.
Unfortunately, that does not mean it is safe. Did you know that senior citizens, since they are very susceptible to injury, are more likely to pass away in traffic accidents that younger drivers may have walked away from? On top of that, studies have shown that crash rates start rising for people who are 70 years old and older.
Telling a loved one it is time to stop driving can be a tough conversation. To know when it’s time, family members should look for the following warning signs:
- An increase in the number of minor accidents.
- An increase in tickets and other traffic violations, indicating that the senior citizen may be making more mistakes.
- Damage to the car, including minor issues like dents or scratches. These can indicate near misses.
- Getting lost on the way home or not being able to find a destination. As memory issues strike, driving can become nearly impossible, even if it is still possible physically.
- Mobility issues, which could make it harder to physically operate the car, especially in an emergency.
- Problems hearing or seeing, which can lead to issues with traffic signals, street signs and much more.
- Increased response times when quick responses are needed. For instance, if traffic suddenly stops up ahead, can the senior citizen hit the brakes fast enough, or is there a delay between recognizing the issue and taking action?
The unfortunate reality is that senior citizens often cause accidents before giving up driving for good. Those who get hurt in these crashes need to know all of their legal options.
Source: After55.com, “When and Why Senior Citizens Should Quit or Curb Driving,” accessed April 20, 2018