The Dangers Of Elderly Drivers

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Back in 2012, there were nearly 36 million licensed drivers ages 65 and older in the United States (Motor Vehicle Safety). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population 70 and older is projected to increase from 30.9 million in 2014 to 53.7 million in 2030 (U.S Census Bureau). The escalation in the senior driver population are leading many people concerned about the possible effects on driving safety. Unfortunately, the risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident escalates as we age. “According to a study by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers ages 65 and up are more likely to get into accidents than younger drivers” (Repa). Elderly drivers should make the decision …show more content…
Some of the senior citizen’s everyday task that was once easy to perform becomes more overwhelming. For example, loss of vision is one of many age-related changes that makes driving a hassle. Just like our bodies, our eyes change over time. Some of the changes are the need for more light, difficulty focusing on near objects, problems with glare, and changes in color perception (Heiting, OD). Driving at night is dangerous especially since there are inefficient lights on the roads. Also, changes in color perception becomes problematic because it is harder for seniors to distinguish the difference in traffic lights, and the brake lights from running lights (Layton). There were numerous deadly accidents that were caused due to senior drivers mistaking brake lights from running lights. Compared to younger drivers, elderly drivers need more light and time to adjust to changing light conditions, like driving at night, and going in and out of tunnels. Furthermore, elderly drivers must deal with decreased hearing. Many senior citizens suffer substantial hearing loss, especially when it comes to high-pitched tones, like sirens, horns, or railroad warnings …show more content…
Finding alternative transportation modes, community activities for them, and other support services can be accommodating to the elders. Introduced in 2002, Candrive is a Canadian Driving Research Initiative for Vehicular Safety in the Elderly. This program is dedicated to improving the safety, health, and the establishment of a national multi-disciplinary collaborative approach. This approach is to identify, analyze, and examine issues pertaining to the safe operation of vehicles driven by elderly people. Lastly, their goal is to develop a screening tool that will allow clinicians to determine who are hazardous to continue operation a motor vehicle. (MacLeay). In addition, there are active senior centers and organizations in different communities. These centers offer activities and age-related events and games. Due to the loss of their driving privileges, there are shuttle services that will take them to and from activities, and even doctors’ appointments

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