Seniors are especially susceptible to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), so it important for them to be extra vigilant; however, traveling is still necessary. Whether the reason is go to the doctor’s office or to buy food and other essential items, some car trips are unavoidable. Many people feel safer using their personal vehicle to get around as opposed to traveling on public transit or using a rideshare service. It is important for seniors to learn about driving safety tips.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that more than 45 million drivers in the United States are over 65 years old. The 2018 accident data collected on older drivers shows that more than 250,000 of them were sent to the hospital after car accidents, and 7,700 more were killed in accidents the same year. Seniors are prone to physical injuries. Drivers 75 years old and older have a higher crash death rate compared to motorists between 35 and 54 years old.
Typically, as people age, their physical and mental capabilities are diminished. Physical constraints in mobility may make seniors less able to avoid or react to potential accident conditions. Vision, hearing, or cognitive functions may not be as sharp as they once were. However, some senior driving habits and practices are safer than those in other age groups. For example, seniors are more likely to wear their seat belts, avoid drunk driving, and choose to drive when road conditions are safest.
Some important driving tips for elderly citizens include the following:
Seniors should try to stay as healthy as possible, especially during the pandemic. Physical fitness is associated with mental fitness and both can improve driving. Adopting an exercise routine will offer seniors a good opportunity to maintain many benefits to wellness that promote safe driving, such as mobility, agility, and muscle strength.
Seniors should pay special attention to their vision by ensuring that they are evaluated by an optometrist every year. Drivers who require corrective lenses should always wear their glasses or contacts as directed, especially if they are required for driving.
Some medications cause side effects that may not mix well with driving. Those that warn of drowsiness are especially problematic. Motorists should be aware of how their medications might affect their driving, including being aware of possible interactions between two or more drugs. This applies to over-the-counter medicines, as well as those prescribed by a doctor.
Senior motorists should be wary of inclement weather, hazardous road conditions, and nighttime driving. It is best to avoid driving when it is dark outside or when rain or fog causes visibility challenges. The conditions of the roads can also be affected by the weather. Driving is safest when snow and ice are not factors.
In addition to considering weather and road conditions, it is a good practice to familiarize oneself with the route to their destination before hitting the road. It can help greatly to lay out a route that takes into account traffic patterns that make driving more difficult.
It is important to leave enough room between cars to allow for safe stopping. The more space allowed between cars, the more reaction time allotted. Keeping from riding up on the car ahead can be critical for older drivers who may require more time to respond if an accident or unexpected road obstruction causes the car in front of them to stop suddenly.
Whether it is a loud radio, a tempting cellphone call, or an absorbing conversation, distractions should be limited while driving. Keeping attention on the road is a duty and a necessity while driving. Drivers of all ages should make it a priority to keep their focus on the road ahead.
After a car accident, a victim may be able to collect damages to pay for their medical bills. A car accident lawyer can help their client build a case against the at-fault driver and secure financial compensation. Damages can help pay for medical bills and other financial losses.
Senior drivers should be extra careful during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it is important to follow driving tips, some car accidents are unavoidable. If you were injured by another driver, a dedicated Pittsburgh car accident lawyer at AlpernSchubert P.C. can help you with your case. Contact us online or call us at 412-765-1888 for a free consultation. Located in Pittsburgh, we serve clients throughout western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, Lawrence County, Washington County.