North Carolina Seniors Are More Likely to Cause Car Accidents if They Have Sustained a Fall
There are many complications that come with age. Unfortunately, some have a cumulative effect, and make a person more likely to fall victim to other age-related hazards. AAA reports that, despite having safer driving habits than other age groups, senior citizens are more likely to be injured or killed in a traffic accident. This is due to age-related vulnerabilities such as weak bones and chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease) which make it difficult to recover from injuries sustained. If you or a loved one has suffered a slip and fall accident or been involved in a motor vehicle accident, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Then be sure to investigate ways to protect your legal rights.
The Correlation Between Slip and Fall Accidents and Car Crashes
The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reports on a study which found that drivers aged fifty-five and older were more likely to cause a car accident if they had previously sustained a fall. The researchers posited that this could be caused by three different methods: first, falls could cause a physical injury which limits functional mobility and impairs driving performance. Second, falls may increase fear of falling, which in turns reduces physical activity. Third, the psychological effects of a fall may lead to adverse changes in driving behavior. It is important to note that the research did not find that older drivers involved in an accident would be more likely to later sustain a fall. Rather, it determined that suffering a fall acted as a “predictor” for the likelihood that an older adult would later cause a motor vehicle accident.
What Seniors Can Do to Reduce the Risk of Being Involved in a Car Accident
By honestly addressing the issues of aging with proactive strategies, seniors can reduce their chances of being involved in motor vehicle accidents. First, it is important to get regular medical checkups. Hearing and vision, in particular, should be tested. Poor vision can make it especially difficult to drive at night. Second, it is important to maintain awareness of your surroundings. Response time slows with age. It is therefore important for older drivers to identify and respond to obstacles in the road as quickly as possible. This is also why it is particularly important for older drivers to avoid becoming distracted by calls, text messages, navigation systems, in-vehicle entertainment systems, and other technologies. Practice the use of navigation systems before operating a motor vehicle. Finally, older drivers should avoid heavy traffic as much as possible to avoid collisions and other obstacles in the road.
If you were involved in an auto accident, you should consult with an experienced Wilmington car accident attorney as soon as possible. Injury victims have important legal rights which must be protected.