Why Do Elderly Drivers Pose Significant Driving Risks?
One of the most obvious reasons that elderly drivers pose significant driving risks is due to their age. Elderly drivers are statistically more likely to have health conditions that would require them to be on medication, and this may result in a diminished ability to drive safely. Additionally, elderly drivers are significantly more likely than younger drivers to suffer from cognitive impairments and reduced reaction time, both of which make them prone to mistakes while behind the wheel.
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Let us now look into the risk factors involved in the driving of the elderly.
Inability to accurately determine the distance between vehicles
As people age, they have a tendency to have difficulty judging the distances between vehicles. Their vision may also be hampered by health problems, such as cataracts and glaucoma that result in poor night vision, which prevents them from seeing objects during the night.
Slow reaction times
It has been proven that reaction time related to driving decreases significantly as you age. This is why elderly drivers are slow to react to sudden changes in traffic situations and quick braking, which increases the risk of accidents occurring.
Extreme and unexpected acceleration and deceleration
Elderly drivers are more likely to accelerate or decelerate suddenly, which increases the risk of accidents occurring. This is because elderly drivers tend to drive in the wrong gear for the speed of the road, and this can result in unexpected acceleration and deceleration.
Lack of concentration and attention span
Elderly drivers are more likely to lose concentration while driving, which increases their risk of getting into accidents. This is because elderly drivers are more prone to distractions, such as talking on the phone, eating or drinking, or loud music.
Impaired hearing and vision
Many elderly drivers have impaired hearing and vision, which may be caused by health problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration that may cause loss of hearing or sight.
Delayed turns and lane merges
This is due to the slow reaction time and delayed ability to move left or right, which makes elderly drivers more susceptible to rear-end collisions and other accidents.
Failure to adhere to signage
Elderly drivers are known to ignore or not see signage or lane markings. This increases the risk of collisions when elderly drivers merge and turn without signaling.