Senior drivers can pose a danger to themselves and others on the roads. Unfortunately, as people get older, they may experience a decline in their physical, mental and sensory abilities. This can result in slowed reactions and poor judgment when behind the wheel, which increases the risk of collisions occurring.
Seniors need to think carefully about whether they are safe to continue driving or not. Unfortunately, sometimes older people are not able to make that decision on their own. When this happens, family members need to step in and prevent an older motorist from becoming involved in a motor vehicle collision. If a senior does continue driving too long and causes a collision as a result of his inability to drive, victims of the crash may be able to take legal action against the older driver with the help of an Atlanta car accident lawyer.
Older Driver Safety Awareness Week Can Prevent Atlanta Collisions
To draw attention to the issue of senior driving risks, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) organizes an Older Driver Safety Awareness Week each December. In 2014, this week was scheduled for December 1 through December 5. While the week is coming to an end for the year, the lessons that are focused on during this public education event can provide important insight at all times of the year.
The goal of Older Driver Safety Awareness week is to “promote understanding of the importance of mobility and transportation,” in helping seniors to remain active in the community. Seniors need to know that transportation will not be a barrier that leaves them stranded at home, because otherwise this creates the incentive to continue driving even after they are no longer able to do so safely.
Each day during Older Driver Safety Awareness week, there is a different issue to focus on. These include:
- Identifying changes that come with aging and that can affect driving. It is important to plan early for what happens when physical, emotional and cognitive changes make it impossible to drive.
- Having conversations with family. The holidays, when families come together, can be a good time to open a dialogue about driver safety as a senior ages.
- Screening and evaluations. Seniors should be evaluated by an occupational therapist, doctor or other medial professional to determine if they are still safe to drive.
- Equipment that can help senior drivers. Adaptive equipment can sometimes make it possible for a senior with some physical limitations to continue driving for longer than he or she otherwise would be able to do so.
- Adapting to changes. Seniors need to make adjustments to drive safely, and family and friends need to work with seniors to devise a transportation plan when driving is no longer an option.
- By focusing on the major issues that affect older drivers, hopefully accidents can be prevented when unsafe seniors are kept off the roads.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury in a motor vehicle crash. Call today at 404-991-5950 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.