It’s no secret that many people face mobility issues as they get older. Falls are a significant source of injury for seniors. What many people may not realize, however, is that falls are also associated with a greater risk of motor vehicle accidents in older adults.
A recent study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) revealed that older individuals with a history of falling are 40% more likely to be involved in senior citizen related car crashes.
Falls often result in injuries such as broken legs or wrist fractures that limit mobility. In addition, falls often create an increase in fear of falling. The individual’s fear of injury leads to a decrease in physical activity. The outcome is a frailer physical condition, disability, and weaker driving skills.
Other age-related factors can also affect driving abilities:
- Three-quarters of drivers age 65 or older take one or more types of medicine, but surveys show that fewer than a third of them understand that it may affect their ability to drive.
- As many as 80 percent of those in their 70s have limited range of motion and chronic pain due to disability from arthritic conditions. When a disability makes turning the steering wheel or putting on the brakes painful, reaction times may be slower.
Issues such as medication or arthritis may be difficult to change. The risk of falls, however, can be diminished by improving the health problems that can lead to falls. Our personal injury lawyers would like seniors to know there are some tips for avoiding falls and thereby avoiding car accidents:
- Poor balance and lower body weakness can be improved through an appropriate exercise program.
- Other causes of falls—including dizziness, vision problems, and side effects from medications—can be discussed with the senior’s physician to see whether a solution can be found.
- Many older drivers have difficulty admitting when it is time to stop driving and it may be easier to hear coming from a medical professional, so setting up a consultation with a family physician can help with this.
Whether you are a senior who was injured by someone else’s negligence, or were hurt in a car accident with an older person whose driving was impaired, the personal injury lawyers at our office in Marietta, GA can help. Give us a call and speak with an experienced car accident lawyer about your rights.