According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2015 drivers aged 65 and older:
- Accounted for 40 million drivers on U.S. roadways. These senior drivers made up a 50% increase from the number that were driving on the roads since 1999.
- Sadly, there were 19 seniors killed each day and more than 700 seniors sustained significant injuries from their car accidents.
Almost all aspects of our bodies and systems change with age. We don’t see as good as we used to, our memory isn’t as clear, and we become slower. Additionally, as our bodies begin to mature, they don’t handle as well as they used to. Because of this, we are more prone to suffer from chronic diseases and ailments which require medications. The CDC indicates that as many as four out of five seniors require at least one prescription medication daily.
Medications have side effects and they can negatively interact with other over-the-counter (OTC) drugs or even with the food we eat. It is important to understand the medicines we are taking so we know how they will affect our bodies. Medicines can also play a part in driver safety.
How Can Seniors Stay Safe On The Road?
Because it becomes more difficult to recover from even minor injuries as we age when a senior is in an accident the aftermath is often more complex than those individuals who are younger and experience the same injuries. This is why fatal accidents are much higher amongst those aged 65 and older. Specifically, when a person gets into their early 70’s their rate for death in a crash rises considerably. When the driver is 85 years-of-age, they are at the highest risk for dying due to their injuries from a collision.
If you are an older driver or if you know an older driver, road safety is important to both the mature adult as well as others on the road. It is worthwhile to think about engaging in proactive behavior that can help increase safety while driving including:
- Examining your medical health, conditions, and ailments with your doctor to understand if any pose a potential hazard for driving.
- Both prescribed medications and anything you take OTC can potentially interact negatively or have side-effects you aren’t aware of which can be dangerous in your body when you are driving. You must understand these details and you can find out how medicines work together and in your body by asking your doctor or your pharmacist.
- Always have a yearly check on your eyes because our eyes are always changing we age.
- Make sure you are familiar with your destination and your route so that you are confident in your ability to get there safely as well as where the best areas to park your vehicle are located.
- Try to stay off of the roads when the weather is treacherous, rain, ice, snow, and during darker hours of the day like early morning or night.
- Familiarize yourself with public transportation or car ride services and taxies. Consider asking a loved one for a ride. These days, many stores offer delivery to your home for almost any item you need, reducing the requirement to head out on the roads to run your errands.
Personal Injury Attorneys In Wisconsin and Illinois That Care About Accident Victims
The Alexander J. Smith Law Offices have the Wisconsin and Illinois automobile accident injury attorneys that can help you with a claim if you have been injured in an accident. You will need a Janesville personal injury attorney to assist you in obtaining the most compensation after your accident. Call us today to set up a free consultation with one of our Wisconsin and Illinois traffic accident attorneys at (608) 237-7035 for residents of Wisconsin or (815) 2439686 for residents of Illinois.