Family members and friends of elderly drivers are often considered that their loved ones could be responsible for accidents behind the wheel, many of which could lead to wrongful death cases. Unfortunately, many changes that result from aging could affect somebody's ability to drive safely. This list of unsafe tendencies may allow you to determine whether or not your loved one is risking lives on the road.
1. Physical & Medical Conditions
An individual with naturally aging joints and muscles will find it harder to move around in the car. This means that it can be hard to look into out the window before making a lane change. Additionally, issues such as Parkinson's disease can cause shaking and difficulty finding balance.
Conditions like arthritis also limit movement and can even make it difficult to apply enough strength to the brake pedal to stop readily. Look for signs of muscle strain while your loved one is steering or trying to brake quickly, and ensure that your loved one is making only safe lane changes.
If you notice that your loved one is possibly driving unsafely due to physical conditions, consider suggesting a new fitness program. Preventing stiffness and weakness is simple at home. Not only can you practice lifting items of different weights around your home, but you can also squeeze stress balls while doing other things. Walking, dancing, gardening and water aerobics are all great ideas for a senior driver who wants to stay fit.
2. Weakening Vision
Elderly individuals tend to naturally lose eyesight, which has a severe impact on driving. About 90% of all driving cues are related to vision. Even small issues, like glare, can be a bigger problem for aging problems than others. This can be especially dangerous when conditions like glaucoma and cataracts also come into play. Annual vision checks and updated prescriptions can help drivers stay safe.
It is essential that you ask your elderly loved ones if they experience cloudy eyes, which are signs of cataracts, or any distortion in the middle of the sight line, a symptom associated with macular degeneration. Additionally, you should recommend that elderly drivers you know have their eyes checked regularly.
3. Hearing Loss
Hearing loss makes it more difficult for elderly drivers to hear horns and sirens. This means that seniors may be slower to pull out of the way of vehicles that need to maneuver around them, and they might not hear a car honking in response to a dangerous maneuver.
Regular hearing checks, at least every three years, are recommended. This is especially the case because about 39% of people over the age of 65 experience some form of hearing loss. Hearing aids can also help drivers with hearing loss.
Sometimes simply being aware can provide some benefit to elderly drivers. In making your loved one aware of his or her limitations, you could be saving lives. You could also be saving your family from a wrongful death suit. For more information, contact wrongful death lawyers.