New research by the AAA Foundation reveals that senior drivers who have fallen are 40 percent more likely to be involved in an auto accident as compared with other drivers with no fall histories.
Falls often result in serious injuries, which can greatly impact a person’s driving ability, potentially leading to deadly encounters for other drivers and pedestrians. Senior drivers age 60 years and older are involved in about 400,000 crashes per year, highlighting the importance of identifying new ways to keep them safe.
Study Findings Detail Risks
The study uncovered important information about how falls increase a driver’s risk of being involved in an accident:
- Falls can cause older drivers to lose functional ability. A senior who breaks her wrist may find it difficult to steer her car.
- Falls may heighten a senior’s fear of falling. Because they are afraid of falling again, elderly people may limit their physical activity, which can lead to decreased physical ability and weakened driving skills.
Traffic safety experts have stressed the implications of this study, highlighting the fact that physical activity is important to maintaining the strengths needed for driving.
The Necessity of Fall Prevention
Research has suggested that falls are an early indicator of declining physical fitness. Family members should begin to address the health issues that can lead to falls, such as weak muscles, slow reaction time, poor balance, vision problems and medications. By addressing these factors early on, it can help strengthen an elderly driver’s physical ability, and help prevent accidents. If you have been injured in a car crash because of a negligent driver, call the skilled auto accident lawyers in Silver Spring, MD at Goldberg Finnegan today to discuss your claim.