A recent study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows a link between fall history and automobile accident risk in older drivers. Senior citizens who have a history of falling have a 40 percent higher risk of being involved in an auto accident than those who have never fallen.
According to the study, falls have a negative impact on elderly drivers’ cognitive function and physical capabilities, which increases their risk of being involved in a collision. Fractures and other injuries from falling can make it difficult for senior citizens to perform important tasks while driving, such as steering and braking.
Also, elderly individuals who have fallen once typically have an increased fear of falling again, which can keep them from participating in regular physical activity. A lack of physical activity may lead to muscle weakness and poor coordination, which may also diminish driving skills.
Fall Prevention Could Improve Roadway Safety
Every year, nearly 12 million senior citizens experience a fall. Additionally, drivers who are 60 years of age or older are responsible for more than 400,000 automobile accidents annually. With falls and car crashes affecting such a large portion of older drivers, preventative efforts to reduce incidents of falling could have a direct impact on improving roadway safety in the U.S.
To prevent future falls, elderly individuals are encouraged to address any health problems that may have contributed to their fall, such as poor vision, negative medication side effects, balance issues or other ailments.
They are also encouraged to sharpen their driving skills by participating in activities that improve balance, muscle strength, flexibility and coordination. Exercise and driving courses can help senior citizens stay safe while behind the wheel.
Have you been hurt in a vehicle collision? If so, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit and receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses associated with your accident. For more information, contact the knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy today. Our Cincinnati injury lawyers are here to help.