For many people, their comes a point in their life when they are no longer able to drive safely. For seniors living in Wellington, City Park and throughout West Palm Beach, this day can be a frightening one as many older people see losing the ability to drive as the end of their independence. Still, despite the fact that no longer being able to drive is a major life change, most seniors realize that they will need to stop before they become a risk to themselves or others.
A personal injury lawyer knows that family members of those who are getting older need to be aware of the risks of senior driving and should take steps to help their elderly relatives. It is important for family members not only to be watchful for signs that a senior is no longer safe to operate a vehicle but also to make sure they help to ensure that a senior sees other transportation opportunities so giving up the ability to drive won't be so scary.
Knowing When a Senior Should No Longer Drive
Senior drivers prioritize safe driving and are generally in support of many different laws that will make the roads safer for everyone. For example, according to Insurance News, senior drivers are not only in favor of bans on wireless devices and ignition interlock devices for drunk driving offenders, but they are also in favor of stricter laws on themselves. More than seven out of every 10 older drivers aged 65 and up believe that older people should be required to renew their licenses in person once they reach the age of 75. Seniors within this age group also believe that people 75 and older should be required to have a medical screening to keep their license.
Although seniors know the risks associated with driving after they suffer from physical, mental or cognitive impairments, they may not always be able to recognize when they themselves are no longer safe. Furthermore, many are afraid of giving up their independence and see becoming unable to drive as the end of their ability to live independently or participate in their community.
Older Driver Safety Awareness Week is an opportunity for elderly drivers, their family members and medical professionals to carefully consider some of the issues associated with driving as you age. This week is held each year in December and although it has passed for this year, the proposed activities to do during the week are things that seniors and their family members can do at any time. These include:
- Having a family discussion on safe senior driving and on alternative methods of transportation that will make it possible for a senior to continue community, family and routine activities even after no longer being able to drive.
- Identifying changes that can affect senior driving, including physical and cognitive changes.
- Exploring adaptive devices that can extend a senior's ability to drive.
- Undergoing a medical examination or evaluation by a qualified professional to identify possible limitations that could make driving unsafe.
- Learning to adapt to change. Seniors and their family members should discuss what will happen if driving is not possible any longer.
Safe senior driving is an important goal all year and is something families should consider this holiday season.
If you or a loved one is injured in a traffic accident, visit http://www.davidglatthornlaw.com or contact David J. Glatthorn at 800-990-9394 to discuss your rights. Serving Palm Beach County including Wellington, City Park and all of South Florida.