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Older Drivers With a History of Falling Are 40 Percent More Likely to Cause an Auto Accident

Drew Duncan
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Partner at Zimmer, Duncan and Cole, LLP

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Seniors are more likely to fall due to their medical conditions and side effects or reactions to medications than the general population. Unfortunately, this can also make them unsafe drivers. According to an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, seniors who have a history of falling have a 40 percent greater risk of causing a crash.

How Falls Can Make a Senior a Less Safe Driver

The AAA study found that falling can reduce an older person’s driving abilities in a number of ways. These include the following:

  • A senior can suffer injuries in a fall that can limit his ability to use the steering wheel, brake petals, or perform other driving maneuvers—all vital to safe driving.
  • The fear of falling can cause a senior driver to limit his physical activities. This can lead to the loss of cognitive and physical abilities—the “use it or lose it” principal.
  • A senior could have a heightened sense of his physical and mental limitations and experience an increased fear of being injured. This could cause him to limit his driving or the times of day when he drives.

The researchers recommended that seniors and their families consider falls as a likely predictor of future limitations in abilities and take proactive measures to help the elderly driver maintain his overall mobility and ability to drive. These include the following:

  • An older driver should deal with the underlying health condition that caused his fall, such as muscle weakness, lack of balance, reaction time, medications that could affect driving abilities, and vision loss.
  • Older drivers should implement fall prevention safety measures—including addressing health risks and dangers at home.

If you or a family member were injured in a crash caused by an older driver, his history of falls or reduced physical or mental abilities could have contributed to why he caused your accident. An experienced car accident attorney may be able to use this information to help establish the senior’s negligence. Call our legal team at 888-733-2992 to schedule a free consultation to learn how we may be able to help.


Category: Auto Accident


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