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Older adults and traffic accident risk factors

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

As people age, their bodies undergo various changes that can impact their ability to safely navigate the roads. Older adults are at a higher risk of becoming involved in traffic accidents due to factors such as reduced vision, slower reaction times and age-related health conditions.

Older adult drivers and their loved ones should understand age-related traffic accident risks and ways to stay safe on the road.

Eyesight and reaction time

One of the main factors that contribute to the increased risk of traffic accidents among older adults is vision changes. As drivers get older, their eyesight may deteriorate, making it more difficult to see road signs, pedestrians and other vehicles. It is important for older adults to have regular eye exams and wear corrective lenses if needed to ensure optimal vision while driving.

Another factor that can impact older adults’ driving abilities is slower reaction times. Reflexes may become slower, making it harder to respond quickly to unexpected situations on the road. Older adults should drive at a safe speed and maintain a safe following distance to allow for more reaction time in case of emergencies. Sadly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that traffic accident injuries resulted in nearly 200,000 emergency department visits among older adults in 2020.

Health issues and safety

Age-related health conditions can also play a role in increasing the risk of traffic accidents among older adults. Conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease can affect a person’s ability to drive safely. To reduce the risk of traffic accidents among older adults, it is important to stay up to date on regular medical check-ups and eye exams to ensure optimal health and vision.

By following these tips and staying proactive about their health and driving habits, older adults can reduce their risk of suffering an injury in a traffic accident. Remember, safety should always be the top priority when behind the wheel.