Each day, on average, around 20 older adults die and an additional 700 are injured in vehicle crashes. Older Driver Safety Awareness Week is observed from December 7-11 in 2020, and it’s an opportunity to think about how the actions of older drivers affect us and how our actions affect them.
Whether you’re noticing a dip in your own driving skills or an elderly loved one is showing signs of decreased driving performance, take advantage of this important week to think about how you can make yourself and everyone you share the road with safer.
Safety Considerations for Older Drivers
If an older driver is experiencing certain conditions associated with aging, they’ll benefit greatly from keeping a few tips in mind.
- Visit the eye doctor frequently to determine if your current glasses or contacts are adequate at correcting your vision.
- As your ability to see decreases, plan to drive only during the day when weather conditions are optimal (no rain, fog, snow, or icy weather).
- Talk to your doctor about any medications that cause drowsiness, dizziness, or impair your ability to drive safely. Avoid driving while taking those medications or speak to your doctor about alternative medications.
- Remember that physical limitations like stiffness or soreness could impair your ability to safely drive a vehicle.
Tips for Talking to Older Loved Ones About Their Driving Risks
If your loved one is showing signs of declining driving ability, you might have no other option but talking to them about your concerns. The best approach is to do so in loving, compassionate language instead of being accusatory. You can even suggest that they go to a driving specialist or driving school to make sure they are capable or making good decisions and physically able to handle the demands of driving.
For example, instead of saying, “You’re not a safe driver anymore,” take a different approach. “I care about your safety” is a much better and more empathetic approach.
Prepare a list of possible solutions to propose to your loved one to mitigate their need to get behind the wheel. You might offer to run errands for them or drive them when it’s dark out or the weather is bad.
Older Drivers Are Vulnerable to the Negligence of Others
When talking about the safety of older drivers, it’s important to understand that older motorists are more vulnerable than younger people to serious injuries and death in crashes. In other words, it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect older drivers and passengers.
If you’re driving an older person, be mindful of how their health might impact their comfort or their ability to get in and out of the vehicle. And always remember that your actions behind the wheel affect everyone else on the road.
At the Law Offices of Gary Bruce, We Help Injured Motorists Get Compensation
We know how difficult life can be after a crash. We help injured people throughout Georgia and Alabama get the compensation they’re entitled to after an accident that wasn’t their fault.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a crash, we’re here to help you explore your legal options. Contact the Alabama and Georgia car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Gary Bruce to schedule a free case review with our legal team.