Taking steps to prevent senior driving crashes is something that every older person should do if he or she plans to get on the roads. Family members of senior citizens living in Springfield, Columbia, Jefferson City and surrounding areas should also be aware of the risks that are associated with people driving once they are too old to do so safely.
Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, which is held each December, provides insight into some of the different things that older people and their families should do in order to reduce the chances of an accident happening. This annual safety focus is well-timed with year-end holiday events, which remain a great time to tackle the problem of senior driving head-on. Many families get together for the holiday season, giving young people a chance to observe older family members and to broach the delicate subject of senior driving dangers.
Preventing Crashes By Senior Drivers
Senior drivers are generally safe drivers, as they typically travel the speed limit, often avoid driving at night or in bad weather, and generally refrain from texting or talking on the phone when they drive. However, a personal injury lawyer knows that sometimes people who get older continue to drive even after it is no longer safe for them to do so. Many older people keep driving because they don’t realize their limitations have made it unsafe, or because they are afraid of giving up their independence and autonomy.
One way to prevent the problems associated with senior driving is to make sure that older people get proper screening before getting a new license. According to Insurance News, as many as seven in 10 seniors responding to a recent survey said that they were in support of a requirement that people aged 75 and older renew their license in person. The seniors interviewed were all 65 and older, and most also said they would support a law requiring a physical exam or medical screening for a driver aged 75 or up.
Everyone ages at different times and different rates, though, so these screenings would not catch every situation where someone is unsafe to drive. Older Driver Safety Awareness Week provides recommendations to seniors and their family members for reducing the risk that someone will continue driving when he or she has gotten too old. The suggestions made include:
- Discussing the issue of senior driving as a family. Older people and their younger relatives should talk about the issues including the dangers of driving too long and the other opportunities for transportation once it has become unsafe for a senior to drive.
- Creating a plan for the future. Seniors may feel more comfortable admitting they cannot drive any longer if they know there is a plan in place for how they can get around and continue to remain members of their community once they stop operating a vehicle.
- Exploring adaptive or assistive devices that can make driving easier for seniors, which could make it possible for older people to continue driving for a longer period of time.
These are just some of the different things that can make a difference in reducing crash risks. During this holiday season, those with older relatives need to assess carefully whether the senior in their life can still drive and, if not, what can be done.
Missouri accident victims should contact the offices of Tolbert Beadle and Musgrave LLC at 1-800-887-4030. Serving Springfield, Columbia, Jefferson City, Joplin and throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri & Oklahoma.