If you have a senior in your family, the holidays can be a good time to
discuss driving safety. Being proactive and exploring transportation alternatives
can help older adults remain active while also helping to avoid a tragic crash.
Earlier this month, the American Occupational Therapy Association recognized
Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. The message for senior drivers and
their families is that proactive, early planning is paramount to continued
independence and safety.
As we have previously discussed on this San Diego Injury Blog, physical,
mental and sensory abilities that can decline as we age. In some cases,
these changes can interfere with a person's continued ability to drive safely.
According to the
California Highway Patrol (CHP), drivers aged 65 and older made up about 15 percent of the licensed
drivers in California in 2014. Crash data reveals that seniors were involved
in 10 percent of the fatal collisions and 8.5 percent of the injury collisions
in the state. Of the 4,299 fatal crashes in 2014, slightly more than 10
percent, or 444, involved drivers age 65 and older.
Unfortunately, there is no clear rule for determining whether an older
driver should be on the road. As a guide, the American Academy of Neurology
has identified several signs of decreased driving ability, which include:
a crash in the past year to five years, a traffic citation in the past
two to three years, or an aggressive or impulsive personality. Other conditions
that can limit driving ability include glaucoma, angina, arthritis, respiratory
illness, and neurologic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
The CHP offers a two-hour Age Well, Drive Smart course, which aims to help
seniors tune up their driving skills, refresh their knowledge of the rules
of the road, and learn how to adjust to normal age-related physical and
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a California car
accident caused by a negligent driver, don’t hesitate to contact
a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free
consultation. Relying on more than 30 years of legal experience, we are
dedicated to protecting the rights of California injury victims.