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When Is It Unsafe for Senior Citizens to Drive?

by | Feb 21, 2018 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

It is natural for cognitive functioning to decline with age, even in those who do not necessarily have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This decline might happen gradually, but at some point, it will affect an individual’s ability to stay safe while behind the wheel.

the man wearing a seat belt in a car.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, older motorists have the highest rate of fatal collisions per mile traveled, excluding teens who have little driving experience. This is partly due to their slower reaction times and partly to their increased frailty.

Acknowledging your own limitations is challenging, though, which is why family members must often be the ones to determine that a senior citizen should no longer be driving. In most cases, there are no definitive signs that someone should surrender their license; rather, several small behaviors indicate it may no longer be safe for a particular individual to get behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, even if you monitor your aging loved ones closely, you cannot rely on others to look after their senior family members. If you were hurt in a collision with someone who should not have been driving, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, and emotional distress.

To determine if you have grounds for a claim, turn to The Downs Law Firm. Ross Downs has been practicing law for more than 20 years. Call 318-284-8551 to schedule a free case evaluation with a car wreck lawyer in Alexandria. Read on to learn a few signs that older adults should stop driving:

  1. They Get Disoriented on Familiar Routes

Everyone gets lost once in a while; however, seniors who struggle to find their way home when traveling on familiar roads should not be behind the wheel. Forgetfulness is common with old age, but when it puts someone in danger—either your loved one or those on the road around him or her—it is essential to take action.

  1. They Get Distracted Easily

 If your relative is easily distracted when completing simple tasks or even holding a conversation, it’s likely that he or she also struggles to focus when operating a vehicle. Distracted driving can have devastating consequences, and it is in everyone’s best interests to keep those with short attention spans off the roads.

  1. They Have Poor Spatial Awareness

Cognitive decline can make people feel like they are always in a fog, which affects their ability to perceive distance accurately. Senior citizens who have reached the point where they should no longer be driving may have a lot of close calls and frequent fender benders. They may also strike curbs often and struggle to change lanes in a smooth manner, all of which increases the risk of causing a catastrophic collision.

If you sustained injuries in an accident with a reckless driver, contact The Downs Law Firm today. Ross Downs can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and negotiate with the opposing party on your behalf so you can focus on recovering.

Call 318-284-8551 to schedule a free consultation with a car wreck attorney in Alexandria. You can learn more about collision claims in Louisiana by visiting the USAttorneys website.