One issue that often gets overlooked about car accidents is they are not always caused by young, inexperienced, intoxicated or reckless motorists. Many collisions involve older people. Though seniors are far less likely to engage in dangerous driving conditions and irresponsible behavior, some do. They are also still at risk of sustaining serious injuries and dying in car accidents.
Many seniors are living and staying in the driver’s seat longer. Driving helps many of them maintain their sense of independence. However advantageous driving as senior can be, it does pose some unique challenges for everyone on the roads, especially the elderly.
Collisions and injuries increase
Older drivers are incredibly vulnerable. Their bodies move slower, take longer to heal and are more fragile. In addition to having slower reflexes, they have a decrease in cognitive and motor skill function and possible medical and health issues that interfere with their driving skills. It is not uncommon for collisions to occur due to medical emergencies involving seniors.
Medications and ailments
Getting older presents health challenges for some people that require them to rely on medications to function normally. Diabetes and high blood pressure are two of the many conditions that may involve drugs that have side effects that impact motor and cognitive function in car accidents involving seniors.
Challenging road situations
Safe and responsible driving requires motorists to actively check and anticipate for hazards that could lead to a collision. More drivers are on the roads, and advances in vehicle technology and other issues make some senior drivers nervous and uncomfortable in operating their vehicle during times of traffic congestion and late at night. For example, slower reaction times can make it challenging for an older adult with mobility or flexibility issues to check their vehicle’s mirrors and blind spots properly.
Seniors can share the roads safely with other drivers. However, it is not always easy for them to give up the keys.