Just a few years ago, a study by Carnegie Mellon University and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers age 85 and older have a higher traffic accident death rate than do teenage drivers. For relatives of seniors who still drive, this means that watching for signs of deteriorating health and driving skills is very important. It could save a loved one’s life. Is your loved one too old to drive safely? If he or she displays one or more of the signs below, the answer may be yes:
1. Slow Reflexes
When a person shows a delayed reaction time to traffic indicators such as yield signs and stop lights, determine whether the issue is age-related by consulting a physician. Slow reflexes due to age usually get worse, not better.
2. Medicinal Side Effects
If the prescription drug your loved one is taking has side effects that are associated with unsafe driving, ask them if the side effects are present. If so, they should have a driver until they are able to stop the medication, or until the side effects are gone.
3. Vision and Hearing Changes
Vision problems and hearing loss are major causes of accidents involving seniors. Many seniors have difficulty hearing horns and sirens, and eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration can cause myopia and blurry vision. If your loved one’s daily tasks are complicated by vision or hearing problems, driving will be just as challenging, if not more so.
4. Loss of Strength
A significant loss of strength can make turning a steering wheel, shifting gears and depressing a brake pedal difficult. If your loved one has difficulty with basic vehicle controls, he or she shouldn’t be behind the wheel. A safe alternative is to have a friend or family member drive them, or if necessary a hired driver.
5. Increased Traffic Tickets
If your loved one receives more traffic tickets than in the past, it may be due to one or more of the conditions above. An increased number of tickets could portend an accident in which a senior is injured or killed, or injures or kills someone else.
When Seniors Cause Accidents
Some people only stop driving after age-related health conditions cause them to have an accident, which places the victims of the accident in a difficult position: Should they file a civil claim against someone who wasn’t able to control his or her driving? At Console & Associates P.C., our car accident lawyers believe that the answer is yes. Although it is heart-wrenching when age-related disability results in an accident, sympathizing with the driver can’t take away your injuries. That is why we advise you to call a New Jersey personal injury at Console & Associates P.C. if you have been injured in an age-related car accident. The NJ car accident lawyers at Console & Associates P.C. have over 24 years of experience in helping accident victims recover damages. If you have been injured in a car accident, call a personal injury attorney at Console & Associates P.C. today: (856) 778-5500