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Senior Drivers: Is Your Loved One Safe Behind The Wheel?

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If you have an aging family member or friend who still drives, you may be concerned about his or her safety on the road.

The good news is this: According to AARP, drivers over the age of 65:

  • Are involved in fewer crashes overall
  • Are involved in fewer crashes involving injury per licensed driver
  • Are involved in fewer crashes involving alcohol
  • Wear seat belts more often than drivers in other age groups

Most older drivers have decades of driving experience under their belts. Most don't engage in risky driving behaviors like drinking and driving.

Despite this, advancing age can have an effect on driver safety. Data shows a substantial increase in crash incident in drivers over the age of 70.

A variety of factors can affect driver safety in older drivers, such as: delayed reaction time, decline of motor skills, hearing issues, etc. Additionally, poor eyesight can make it difficult for older drivers to read signs and road markings, especially after dark.

Are you concerned about an elderly loved one's driving? Here are some things that you can do to help keep him or her safe:

  • Check in: Regularly check in with your senior friend/family member. Has he or she expressed concerns about driving? Has his or her medical condition changed? Be aware of any changes that may affect the ability to safely drive.
  • Recent crash or traffic ticket history: According to AAA, having two traffic tickets or warnings in the past two years - or being involved in two collisions or two near-misses in the past two years - is an indicator of an increased chance of collision.
  • Seat belt use: Encourage your loved one to wear a seat belt. Although drivers over the age of 65 wear their seat belts more than any other age group, one in five still do not wear a seatbelt.

Remember: There is no definitive age at which a driver becomes an unsafe driver. Unsafe driving habits can be the result of a medical condition or medications. Concerned loved ones should be aware of any health or medication changes that may affect the ability to drive safely.

Free consultation: If a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by another driver's negligence, talk to a personal injury lawyer today. Call our law firm at 713-587-9668.

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