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When Should Senior Drivers Stop Driving

April 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 189

Driving a car is a skill that requires constant coordination of the eyes, hands, and feet in order to smoothly operate the vehicle. That coordination, however, gradually decreases as drivers get old. Because of aging, the likelihood of experiencing a life-threatening road accident can happen anytime. This only shows that not only drivers who are in their 20s, 30s, and even 40s are likely to get killed in accident.

In terms of age, teenage drivers aged 16 to 19 are four times likely to get involved in a car crash. Elderly drivers aged 65 and older come in second. However, as aging gets the better of elderly drivers, it is highly likely for them to get killed in a road mishap than teenage drivers.

According to the Fatal Accident Reporting System of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 1995, elderly drivers accounted for:

• 5 percent of people injured in road mishaps• 13 percent of all traffic deaths• 13 percent of all passenger deaths

Health factors involved in accidents among senior drivers

The primary reason for this is because of health concerns among the elderly. Here are some factors of aging that contribute to the deaths and injuries of senior drivers:

• The mental ability slowly deteriorates, especially in the reaction time required in driving• Eye problems such as cataract, glaucoma, and macular degeneration prevent the elderly to clearly see the surroundings while driving a car• Stiff neck makes it hard for senior drivers to turn their heads for a better view of traffic conditions• Full grip on the steering wheel, as well as movement on the lower limbs, makes it hard for senior drivers to operate the car

Knowing when to "turn over the keys"

Many states have adopted certain measures to see if elderly drivers are still eligible to drive. In the State of California, for example, mandatory driving tests are required for drivers over the age of 70 if they have been involved in vehicle crashes in two or more separate occasions over the course of a year. Also, road tests are also required for them if driver impairment is reported by a physician or a family member.

Senior drivers getting involved in a car accident may think twice of driving further and ultimately "turn over the keys". This is one of the most difficult decisions any senior driver must make. However, knowing when to do so involves serious background checks in terms of health and driving ability.

Senior drivers can make assessments on themselves. They can also seek help from family members and from health professionals and traffic authorities. Moreover, elderly drivers can also seek help from legal professionals, especially from Los Angeles injury Attorneys. The expertise of these attorneys can help elderly drivers in case they got involved in a road accident.

Macky Anderson is web content writer by profession. He graduated from a reputable University with a degree in history. He writes articles regarding legal topics like truck accident attorney, vehicle accident lawyer and everything about the law.

Source: EzineArticles
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