Our reflexes and attention span ages as we get older, which can affect our driving. Many seniors are able to drive well into their 80’s and even early 90’s, but certain health conditions can affect a driver’s abilities behind the wheel. If you or a loved one is over the age of 65, it’s important to understand how age and health can alter someone’s judgment on the road. This will allow you to recognize when the time comes to give up the keys for your safety and the safety of others.
Increased discomfort in joints is something that many seniors battle with, that can not only have an adverse affect on their walking but their driving as well. Depending on the source of the pain, this experience can make it difficult for seniors to check side mirrors, rear view mirrors and blind spots when turning or switching lanes. We depend heavily on our knees to work the gas and brake pedals. So if someone is experiencing pain their knees, it could prevent them from reaching the pedals or weaken their joints while driving.
Our driving skills are more mental than physical. We depend on our brain to make quick judgment calls, follow the right directions and exercise proper hand-eye coordination. If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental disorder, driving can be very dangerous, especially when you’re alone. In order to be 100% aware of our surroundings, we need to multitask, which is increasingly difficult when there are changes in the brain. Traffic lights, stop signs, pedestrians and other cars can be ignored. Mental illness can also cause you to forget directions and even your destination, causing you to get lost very easily.
Vision and Hearing Loss
If the signs are becoming a blur, it may be time to visit the eye doctor. Depending on your television, if your volume is always set above 40, you may need a hearing aid. Decreased eyesight and hearing is a common condition that most seniors experience. Blurred vision can impact your ability to react in case a vehicle or pedestrian suddenly appears on the road and you may see them when it’s too late. It’s important to be aware of sirens, horns or any other warning sounds that can protect you from danger. If you’re experiencing signs of hearing loss, it’s best to talk to a doctor about your options immediately.
While it can be inconvenient to depend on other modes of transportation, it is the safer option if you or a senior you know are experiencing these signs. Put your safety first and speak to a doctor to see if your condition will affect your driving abilities.
For over three decades, expert Santa Clarita auto accident attorneys, Owen, Patterson & Owen have been specializing in car accident cases and have helped thousands of auto accident victims. If you or an elderly loved one has recently been involved in an automobile accident, or if you have questions about driving safety, feel free to contact us or give us a call at 800-676-5295.