How Can Seniors Stay Safe Behind the Wheel?August 13, 2019
The aging process affects everyone differently, but some of the most common physical changes that occur as we age include vision deterioration, hearing loss, decreased motor skills, and slower reflexes. All of these changes can have a significant impact on an older person’s ability to drive safely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 18 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States involve people who are aged 65 years or older. In some cases, it is simply no longer safe for some older drivers to get behind the wheel. However, for many older drivers, there are steps they can take to ensure that they remain safe on the road.
The NHTSA offers a range of free resources that can help older drivers and their families recognize changes in their driving, and whether it is time to have a discussion about giving up their driver’s license. This can be a difficult conversation to have, and it is common for older drivers to become upset and defensive. It is important to discuss your observations in a kind and compassionate way and suggest alternative transportation options. The following are common signs that an older driver’s safety may be at risk:
- They get lost driving places that should be familiar.
- There are new scratches or dents on the vehicle.
- They have gotten speeding tickets or other traffic citations.
- They have been in an accident or a near-miss recently.
- A healthcare professional has recommended that they stop or limit driving due to a health issue.
- They get confused easily while driving.
- They take medication that can cause drowsiness or other impairments.
Safe Driving Tips for Older Drivers
- Get regular vision tests to check for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or other vision issues. If you wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, make sure that the prescription is up to date. Always wear glasses when driving.
- Keep the windshield, mirrors, and headlights clean.
- Get a regular physical to check for arthritis, diabetes, or other health issues that can affect driving. Also, check for changes in strength, coordination, and flexibility. Perform regular stretching exercises and schedule an appointment with an occupational therapist, if necessary.
- Use a vehicle that has an automatic transmission, which is easier to operate.
- Talk to your doctor if you are taking medication that could affect your driving.
- If you feel anxious while driving, stick to familiar routes, avoid driving during rush hour, and stick to driving during the daylight hours.
- Make sure that your vehicle has a good safety rating.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Car Accidents Involving Older Drivers
If you have been injured in a car accident involving an older driver, it is in your best interest to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our compassionate and dedicated legal team will investigate the details of your case and walk you through every step of the claims process. We will ensure that you receive that maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.