It seems like every age group comes with its own risks behind the wheel. Teen drivers lack experience, they tend to take more pointless risks, and they statistically crash at an incredibly high rate. Middle-aged drivers are on the road a lot and they are all often driving at the same time, so they get stuck in traffic and this sometimes leads to road rage.
But what about elderly drivers? They too have some risks that must be considered. According to the American Automobile Association, some of those issues could stem from physical limitations.
For instance, the AAA points out that most people -- a full 80 percent - have to deal with arthritis once they get to be 70 years old or older. This can make it harder to twist joints, something that's critical when trying to grip and turn the steering wheel. It's not just the elderly that have arthritis. The AAA also notes that about half of middle-aged individuals could suffer from it, as well.
Another potential issue is the use of medications. A study looked at drivers who were at least 65 years old, and it found that three quarters of them took at least one medication, and sometimes more. You may say that this wouldn't be a risk because those taking medications that would impact driving simply would stay off the roads. However, the same study discovered that under 33 percent of the drivers knew if their medications would impact their ability to drive.
Generally speaking, the AAA noted that elderly drivers simply tend to have weakening bodies. Muscles aren't as strong as they were when those drivers were in their 20s. Their range of motion isn't what it used to be. They're more frail and less flexible. While they may be able to drive, those things can be problematic, especially in an emergency situation. Elderly drivers may not react as well as younger drivers, even when they see hazards in traffic.
Has an elderly driver caused a car accident that put you in the hospital with high medical bills? If so, be sure you know your rights.
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