Elderly Car Accidents - Older Adults at Increased Risk
Older adults live a more active lifestyle than ever before. Free of the demands of working fulltime and raising families, they can enjoy the variety of different events and attractions our area offers. While the ability to drive is instrumental for going on regular outings, running errands, or attending doctor appointments, older adult drivers need to be aware of the risks when it comes to elderly car accidents and injuries. The following outlines some of the common concerns, along with ways older adults can help protect themselves and others on the road.
Impacts of Aging on Driving Skills
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the number of adults aged 65 and over in the United States has increased dramatically over the past several decades. Making up more than 12 percent of the total population, they stay active and engaged in a variety of pursuits. This often involves traveling, either locally or on vacations and when visiting family or friends, and more than 40 million rely on their ability to drive to get to their destination.
Based on the number of miles driven, older adults are more likely to be involved in car accidents, and the injuries they suffer as a result are more likely to be severe. Factors that make crashes and collisions more common among this age group include:
- Age-related vision impairment, which is particularly common at night or in rain and foggy conditions;
- Limited flexibility, which can make it hard to steer or to look over their shoulder when merging into traffic or changing lanes;
- Decreased cognitive functions, which can make distracted driving errors more likely to occur;
- Chronic conditions requiring medication, which can cause impairments such as being anxious, lightheaded, or excessively tired.
When elderly car accidents do occur, an overall decline in health as we age and increased frailty can make injuries more likely to be severe and potentially fatal.
Preventing Older Adult Car Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that older drivers can help protect themselves against potentially life threatening car accidents by taking simple measures, such as wearing a seatbelt, avoiding medications which could cause impairments, and only going out in good weather and traffic conditions. If there has been a prior car accident or concerns about driving ability, older adults can protect themselves and others on the road by taking the following steps:
- Speak to your doctor about any medical conditions which could cause problems driving.
- Talk to your pharmacist, to find out if your medications could impact your driving ability.
- Go to the eye doctor regularly, and wear prescription glasses as required.
- Get regular exercise to increase strength and flexibility.
Get Help Today
In the event a crash or collision does occur, contact our South Carolina car accident attorney immediately. At Anastopoulo Law Firm we understand the serious impacts elderly car accidents can have and we can assist you in getting the compensation you need to recover. Call or contact us online today and request a free consultation in our Charleston office, or at one of our locations throughout the Upstate.