Elderly woman smiling

How Can Elderly Drivers Avoid Losing Their Ability to Drive

Do you have an aging loved one who is resisting giving up their ability to drive? It is true that older drivers who don’t take good care of themselves can increasingly become more of a hazard on the road and safety risk to themselves as well as others around them. It is understandable why an older adult would oppose losing their ability to drive. After all, driving is freedom and it is also a huge part of being independent. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017 there were about 7,700 elderly individuals aged 65 and over who lost their lives when they were in an automobile accident. Also that year, over 250,000 elderly individuals required emergency treatment in the hospital from crashes. Adults who are over 75 years of age will have higher rates of death when in a crash than middle-aged drivers aged 35-54. Some of the challenges people face as they age which are known to impair one’s ability to drive safely include poor vision, inability to remember, being easily confused, and physical degradation. 

When an older driver doesn’t have the cognitive and physical capability to safely drive their vehicle they become a danger to everyone on the road including themselves and their vehicle’s passengers. Luckily, a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that focusing on physical fitness as well as being well-rested could be enough to improve elderly driver safety.

Why Would an Elderly Person Give Up Their Ability to Drive?

The study that was reported by AAA looked at many factors that affect the elderly population’s ability to drive. Some of the main factors examined include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Physical functioning
  • Chronic pain 
  • Severity of pain
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Participation in social events

It was physical functioning and sleep disturbance/fatigue that proved to be the biggest factor impacting an elderly adult’s ability to drive. An elderly adult may easily give up their right to driving if they don’t feel well mentally and physically. A consistent routine of exercise that incorporates balance activities, strength training, and cardiovascular movements along with thorough stretching can keep the body strong and the mind sound. Both of these factors are critical to driving. A strong and flexible body will be more able to get up out of a car and into a car as well as turn to grab a seatbelt. A sharp mind can keep alert to the surroundings.

Older adults that can exercise at a more moderate pace, only need to get in about 2.5 hours per week. When a milder rate of exercise is needed, up to 5 hours should suffice. The elderly can improve their chances of being able to continue driving with weekly workout sessions based on their current fitness level.

Where Can You Find a California Car Accident Attorney?

California is the most populous state in the country. As a result, we have many crowded roads, and our state loses thousands of lives each year in California car accidentsCalifornia automobile accidents also account for countless numbers of injuries. If you have been in a car accident and you were injured you are entitled to receive as much compensation as possible and the California personal injury attorneys at AgnewBrusavich will help you win your case. Call the Torrance personal injury lawyers at AgnewBrusavich today to schedule your free consultation at (310) 928-9081.

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