It can be hard for many senior citizens to admit driving isn’t as easy or as safe for them as it used to be. It can also be difficult for family members to tell their loved ones that they should no longer be driving. It might not be easy to break the news to an older driver that it’s dangerous for them to be behind the wheel, but nobody wants to feel responsible if an accident occurred that could have been prevented.
Aging happens to us all, and there will come a time when we will have to rely on others for many things that we take for granted now, including driving. It’s not easy to give up this independence, but it’s well worth it if lives can be saved, including the senior citizen’s.
Consumer Reports says that people over the age of 80 are involved in nearly six times more deadly crashes than middle-aged drivers. Every day across the U.S., about 500 elderly drivers are injured in accidents and about 15 are killed.
According to NIH Senior Health, older drivers can experience driving problems related to declining vision, physical abilities and cognitive function. After age 75, the risk of being involved in a car accident increases.
Last October, a 77-year-old woman was driving a pickup truck with her 80-year-old husband in the passenger seat in Ferriday, Louisiana, reported WBRZ News. When her truck crossed an intersection on Highway 84, two other cars collided with her. Sadly, the elderly couple was killed, and other people in the accident were injured.
Keeping elderly family members safe on the roads
Younger family members may wonder when it’s an appropriate time to take away the car keys. HelpGuide has offered the following tips to help senior citizens retain as much independence as possible, while preserving their family members’ peace of mind:
When family members express concern and offer help, it’s not to take away freedom and independence, but is an attempt to keep loved ones safe from harm. When a senior citizen can be responsible and mature enough to hand over the car keys at the right time, it can prevent accidents that destroy lives. This will also help to avoid legal fees and even criminal charges that result from an accident.
People who are injured in a car accident have the right to pursue compensation for their losses, regardless of the other driver’s age. It’s important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to find out your options.