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Accident Prevention for Aging Drivers: Common Challenges and Tips for Staying Safe

Posted on in Accident Liability
elderly-driverThe roadway can be a dangerous place for anyone and everyone. While certain demographics and driving behaviors tend to contribute to collision trends, the reality is car accident statistics do not discriminate. Everyone is at risk for causing or being involved in a crash. Just as young drivers face certain challenges as they learn to acquire good driving skills and the importance of avoiding bad habits, such as distracted driving, older drivers are presented with their own set of challenges when behind the wheel. Natural Challenges Natural changes that typically come with aging, such as vision changes and physical or mental limitations can, and often do, cause a shift in driving skills, making operating a vehicle riskier and more intimidating. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration reported that over 5,000 people age 65 and older were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2012, which was an increase from previous years. Aging does not automatically equate to the need to give up driving. It does mean adopting a few new habits and being realistic about dangerous changes in driving habits, however. Recognizing and acknowledging the effects getting older can have on your driving skills is the first step to safer driving as you age. What You Can Do Whether you are beginning to notice changes in your driving abilities as the years go on or you are noticing changes in one of your loved ones, take note of the following driving safety tips to increase your chances of preventing a collision: Talk it out: If you are concerned about changes in your driving skills, it is important to talk things out with a trusted friend or family member. Talking about any decline in health is never easy, but expressing your concerns and thoughts about the matter with someone you love and trust can go a long way when it comes to acceptance. It also helps to brainstorm with someone to come up with ideas for how you can protect yourself behind the wheel and improve your level of safety as you age. Assess your physical health: Assessing your vision, physical fitness, and your reaction time and reflexes can give you a good indicator of where you stand when it comes to operating a vehicle. Stay up to date with your doctor visits so you can proactively manage any vision or health issues, and thoroughly voice your concerns to your doctor so you can understand the nature of your limitations. Consider new boundaries: Creating new boundaries for your driving patterns and habits can be an excellent way to combat risk on the roadway as you age. Consider eliminating driving at night or during certain times of day, such as during rush-hour, or make arrangements to drive with a friend when you need to run errands around town. Driving with another passenger can be helpful, as it gives you a second set of eyes on the roadway. If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident due to aging driver, speak with an experienced Lake County car accident attorney to make sure your rights are protected. Call Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today at 847-662-3303 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Older+Drivers

http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/olddrive/Driving%20Safely%20Aging%20Web/index.html

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