Are Older Drivers at a Higher Risk of Southern California Car Crashes?

Driving is a very crucial aspect of keeping one’s independence, but growing old has its own set of challenges, as it relates to driving. An often-overlooked fact is that driving requires a complex set of skills. The average driver makes approximately 20 decisions per mile traveled. As people age, their ability to make safe decisions decreases. 

There are three distinct areas that are impacted, including sensing an unsafe situation, deciding what to do in the situation and acting to avoid the situation.

Sensing
Vision and hearing are both affected, as a person ages. The amount of light that is allowed to enter into the human eye decreases by half every 13 years. This means that a 60-year-old requires 10 times as much light as someone younger, to see the same scenery.

Loss of hearing can also add an unsafe element to the driving experience, as nearly one third of Americans age 65 to 74 experience a lower hearing sensitivity. This can be especially dangerous, because it is typically the higher pitched frequencies that are hardest to hear, such as alarms or sirens.

Deciding
As people get older, it takes longer for the synapses in their brain to communicate and convert an idea or a sensation into a motor skill. That means more time is required to react to a potentially dangerous situation. Some things that can be done to help add more time to the decision-making process include:
 
  • Leaving more space between you and the car in front of you
  • Turning off all distractions, such as the radio or a cell phone
  • Planning the route ahead of time, so quick decisions will not have to be made on the spot

Acting
Driving is a physically demanding activity that requires dexterity and enough strength to operate the steering wheel and the pedals. As people age, their dexterity and the strength of their muscles are affected.

Arthritis is condition that can challenge the way that elderly people react after identifying a potential problem. Arthritis causes painful stiffness in the joints that can slow down the movements necessary to avert disaster.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Ventura County, San Bernardino County or San Diego County, an experienced Southern California car accident attorney at Steinberg Injury Lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation. 

Contact us today to obtain your free case evaluation by calling (800) 989-6385.