Some people think that senior citizens who drive are putting others on the road at risk. They assume that these individuals aren’t as safe because they might drive a little slower and not take as many risks. The fact is that age has nothing to do with how safe someone operates a vehicle.
One of the major factors that determines how safely a person drives is their experience. A driver who has more experience is more likely going to make safer decisions when they’re facing hazards than a driver who hasn’t spent much time behind the wheel. Any driver, regardless of age, who is operating a vehicle unsafely can cause a crash that results in injuries.
What factors could cause an elderly driver to drive unsafely?
There are a few age-related factors that could mean a senior citizen isn’t able to safely drive any longer. Their mental capacity may start to decline. This can directly impact their ability to make decisions when driving. There’s also a chance that cognitive deficiencies may begin to manifest, which can make driving more difficult.
Another issue that sometimes comes up as a person ages is that they aren’t able to keep up with the physical demands of driving. Declines in mobility and range of motion can make it challenging to operate a vehicle safely.
How can senior citizens determine whether they can drive safely or not?
There is no set age at which these issues can begin with an individual. Everyone is different, so it’s imperative that senior citizens who still want to drive honestly evaluate their ability to do safely. If they have doubts about this, they should speak to their loved ones.
Sometimes, asking their primary care physician for an evaluation of their suitability to drive is beneficial. The doctor should look at any medical limitations that could impact how the patient is able to drive.
Car wrecks that involve an elderly driver should be handled in the same manner as any other crash. Alert the police department so a report can be written and seek medical care if you’re injured. Victims of these wrecks can choose to pursue compensation to cover the damages they’re dealing with because of the crash.