We face unique challenges as we age. As our age increases so do our chances of experiencing a decline in our mental and physical health. Our vision, hearing, and reaction time can be impacted by advanced age and all of this can lead to serious safety concerns for our senior drivers. This is even more so true when you consider the fact that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that the number of drivers aged 70 or older is growing. More older people are on the road than ever before as people are keeping their licenses longer. Now is the time to confront those safety issues that can come with driving in advanced years of age and manage them accordingly.
Seniors, Stay Safe Out on the Road
With a decline in physical abilities such as reaction time and vision, seniors need to be mindful of the fact that, if they want to continue driving safely, there needs to be some parameters put in place. According to the IIHS, several studies reveal that increased impairment in a person’s physical, cognitive, or visual functions is associated with increased crash risk. What can be done to help keep seniors safe out on the road? There are a few things that have been shown to be effective in accomplishing this.
Senior drivers can reduce the hours they permit themselves to drive. Many older drivers choose not to drive at night. It can be difficult to see at night and heightened reaction times can often be necessary in order to avoid a crash. Furthermore, there are more likely to be people driving under the influence at night which can make driving conditions much more dangerous. Senior drivers can also reduce the length of distances they travel in order to help them stay safe on the road. Less distance traveled can understandably correlate to a reduced chance of accident involvement.
It is also common for seniors to be taking medications. Many medications, whether over the counter or prescribed, can impair a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Labels on the medications should reflect this danger. Seniors should always be aware of the potential side effects of medications as well as whether the medications state that they should refrain from operating heavy machinery, such as operating a motor vehicle, after consumption.
In addition to these safety steps seniors can take, it is also important that seniors have vehicles with updated safety features. Did you know that seat belts on older cars tend to be less effective at safely restraining older vehicle occupants than the modern safety belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters? It’s true! Older vehicles can often be retrofitted with the newer seat belt models. You can contact your car manufacturers to see if this is a possibility.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
We can all do our part to keep everyone as safe as possible on the road. If someone has failed to take proper safety precautions on the road and you have been injured as a result, do not hesitate to reach out to the dedicated personal injury team at Cooper, Schall & Levy. Contact us today.