Hollywood and other communities in South Florida have a large population of seniors. Many people choose the Sunshine State for retirement so that they can enjoy the natural beauty and warm climate of the region in their golden years. While many elderly residents in the area are safe and responsible drivers, some age-related conditions such as dementia, age-related macular degeneration, and other ailments can affect vision, cognition, and mobility. In some cases, as health declines motorists can become unsafe behind the wheel. Since driving offers independence and mobility, some seniors continue to drive against doctors’ advice, event when they know they may be a danger to themselves and others.
Have you been injured by a reckless driver? The attorneys at Flaxman Law Group are results-oriented and have more than sixty years of combined experience winning trials and out-of-court settlements on behalf of clients. If you are ready to get legal advice so that you can move forward after your loss or injury, contact Flaxman Law Group today for a free case review.How Age Affects Driving Ability
Many seniors are responsible and safe drivers. They may be less likely to speed and take other risks when compared with younger drivers, for example. However, all safety experts agree that health can affect driving ability and unfortunately as we age we may be more susceptible to some medical conditions.
Age can affect driving ability in a number of ways:
- Physical abilities may decline with age or age-related conditions. While many elderly people stay active and strong later in life, osteoporosis, strokes, and other ailments often associated with age can affect mobility and the ability to drive.
- Cognitive abilities may decline with age or age-related conditions. Even “senior moments” of confusion and forgetfulness can be fatal behind the wheel of a car, but serious conditions such as dementia can be especially dangerous on roadways.
- Visual abilities decline. Most people need reading glasses after age 40 or so, and in many cases visual ability declines with age, making it harder for seniors to drive safely.
- Seniors may take medications for their medical conditions, and this can lead to impaired driving. Many medications used to treat serious conditions come with side effects such as fatigue, dizziness, and other symptoms that can be dangerous for drivers.
- The driving abilities needed today may not have been the abilities needed before. Decades ago, drivers did not need to meet graduated licensing program requirements and did not have to pass the strict tests we have today. In addition to different tests, the reality of driving in Hollywood and Florida was very different. Speeds were slower, cars were less complex, and there were fewer cars on the roads. Today, seniors need to adapt to a very different driving environment.
In some cases, elderly drivers are still able to drive safely if they get additional training and treat or manage any medical conditions. Some alternations to cars – such as pedal extenders or devices that can make the steering wheel easier to grip – can also help make driving safer. In other cases, however, the safest option may be to hang up the keys. Often, this is a very difficult decision and one that needs to be made with the driver, their family, and doctors involved.
Many people in Hollywood and surrounding Florida communities have suffered serious injury or disabilities because of car accidents. If this has happened to you because of an elderly or unsafe driver, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney who can represent you and can move an injury claim forward. You can always reach a personal injury attorney by contacting the law offices of Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-FLAXMAN (1-866-352-9626). Our law firm is proud to have represented thousands of clients in Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, South Miami Heights, Broward County, and across South Florida. Give our legal team a call today to schedule a free case review to discuss your injuries.