For family members of older adults, protecting them against the coronavirus has been a top priority in recent months. Now that the number of cases is starting to decrease, people of all ages are eager to resume their normal hobbies and activities. For those with loved ones age 65 and over, it is important to be aware of other dangers they face. Car accidents resulting in serious personal injuries are a common problem. The following offers advice on preventing older adult car accidents.
Older Adults and Car Accidents
The month of May is designated as National Older Americans Month. It highlights the contributions made by those over the age of 65 in the community as well as some of the common issues they face. The threat of personal injuries is one of these issues. While younger people often bounce back quickly after accidents, older adults tend to suffer more long-term damages. Even a relatively minor accident can result in permanent disabilities or hasten an early death.
Car accidents are one of the biggest threats to older adults. While driving plays a key role in maintaining their independence, underlying health conditions and problems that go along with aging increase their risks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these risks increase with each year you get older. Common factors involved in crashes and collisions among older adults include:
Vision problems such as night blindness, reduced depth perception, and increased sensitivity to glare
Hearing loss, making them less likely to hear warning signs of a crash, such as horns blowing or brakes screeching
Reduced reflexes, impacting their ability to respond to unexpected events
Lack of coordination, making it harder to do multiple tasks, such as steering while applying the brakes
Increased use of medication to manage chronic conditions, resulting in driving impairments
Decreasing Car Accident Risks For Older Adults
If you are age 65 or over, the American Automobile Association (AAA) advises talking about the above issues with your medical provider. If you have concerns about the driving abilities of an older adult in your life, they offer tips for dealing with the problem. Consider doing the following:
Be sensitive in bringing up the topic to avoid shaming the driver or causing them to become defensive
Recommend they use the AAA’s self-rating assessment tool to determine any risk factors they face
Make a list of alternative forms of transportation, such as buses, cabs, or ridesharing services
Find other family members and friends to provide rides
Offer to go to their next doctor’s appointment with them to discuss the issue
You should also be alert for signs they could be putting themselves or others in danger. These include increased forgetfulness when it comes to directions and familiar places or incidents such as fender benders.
Let Us Help You Today
There are certainly steps you can take in preventing older adult car accidents. However, if a car accident does, unfortunately, impact you or someone you love, the Surasky Law Firm, LLC is here to help. Call or contact our Aiken car accident attorney online and request a consultation today.