Back in 2019, at least 45 million people above the age of 65 were licensed drivers and this was a considerable increase from the previous year. Senior citizens tend to find driving challenging, however, they can prevent accidents if they follow certain safety tips. Various statistics have claimed that senior citizens do have a tough time driving compared with the younger generation. The reason for this is simple. With age, one does start developing muscular and joint problems that act as a barrier for senior citizens to drive. This situation then leads to multiple mishaps, including accidents and even deaths.
Injuries in elderly victims can be even more server than those of a younger person. According to The Accident Guys Temecula Webpage the common injuries from a car accident are neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, whiplash, burns, and wrong deaths.
In this blog, we discuss why senior citizens have a more challenging time driving and the current stats that support the above statement. Older drivers tend to find driving challenging due to many reasons. Here we have stated a few reasons why it becomes challenging for them to drive:
Stiff Joints Or Muscles – As one starts aging, joints and muscles also weaken. Often, arthritis is one of the most common issues which seniors face and it tends to affect their driving ability. These physical changes also make it challenging for seniors to turn their heads and look behind and also turn the steering wheel in no time.
The seniors cannot risk hurting themselves or even others. They need to consult their health professionals about their health concerns. If possible, the seniors must drive automatic cars and check with the doctor if their joint problems may affect their driving. Seniors also need to be active physically or should try and exercise every day.
Trouble Seeing – Additionally, eyesight tends to change as one starts aging. It is challenging to see things and people if they aren’t within a certain range. Seniors might even take a while to read some headboards or recognize the places around them. They also tend to find it challenging to see things during the night because of the glare from the oncoming traffic or street lights. This can also pose some issues. During the day, the sun can also be blinding during certain hours.
Certain eye diseases, including glaucoma and cataract, tend to pose problems if not treated or medicated. If one is above 65, it is recommended to consult an eye specialist once a year and look for any deterioration in the eyesight. They also need to ensure that their prescription is in place if they wear glasses or contact lenses. Seniors should also avoid or minimize driving at night.
Trouble Hearing – As one starts getting older, their hearing is also affected significantly. This can make it challenging to listen to horns or other street noises. Hearing loss can pose a challenge for seniors as they cannot do much about it and at times they aren’t even aware that they have this problem. This is why it is essential to get the ears checked after the age of 50. They also need to discuss their hearing concerns with the medical professional.
Slow Reflexes – As one starts aging, their reflexes also tend to get slower and they cannot react as quickly as needed. Additionally, they find it challenging to do two things at a time. Stiff joints don’t even allow them to move soon. One cannot drive it if they have Parkinson’s or any other severe ailments. To counter this, they need to leave some space between their car and the one ahead. They also need to start braking whenever they feel it is the right time to stop. Senior citizens should also avoid heavy traffic areas.
Above all, certain medications make people drowsy so elders should avoid taking them. Seniors should drive safely and adhere to certain tips mentioned here to stay safe on the road.