In many ways, elderly drivers are safer. Statistically, they are more likely to use seat belts and less likely to engage in aggressive driving or drunk driving. However, medical issues which can occur with senior years can affect driving ability and can make elderly motorists vulnerable to truck crashes in Hollywood and other communities.
If you have a senior relative or friend, there are things you can do to help them drive more safely:
- Help your elderly family member take care of their health. Getting regular exams from a doctor can help seniors tackle any medical conditions which could affect their ability to drive. In addition, regular exercise can help improve mobility, which is important for driving. Also, get eye sight checked at least once per year to ensure good vision.
- Review medications regularly. Talk to a pharmacist about prescription and over-the-counter medications to ensure there are no interactions or side effects which could cause drowsiness or other dangerous symptoms.
- Help plan trips. Plan with senior family members so they choose safe and low-traffic routes to their destinations. Check factors such as weather and construction to help them find safe ways to get to their destinations. In addition, look for routes and times which have less truck traffic. Heavy trucks can block the view and can be intimidating to passenger car drivers.
- Make sure the car is in good condition and fit for your family member. Regular maintenance ensures a car is safe for the road. In addition, you may be able to make modifications to a car to make it easier to use. For example, if a senior has problems with mobility or gripping the wheel due to a medical condition, there are alterations which can compensate for that and can make driving safer.
- Stay alert for signs of problems. Drive with elderly family members and make sure you stay alert for signs of issues. Does your family member get lost or disoriented? Does he or she get in near-misses or fender benders? If any of these are an issue, get a doctor to evaluate any potential medical conditions. You can also get your family an appointment with a driving evaluator or Driver Rehabilitation Specialist to determine driving safety and to find some possible solutions.
- Tell your senior family member about alternatives to driving. If an elderly family member is having problems driving safely, they may be worried about giving up their freedom. Even if their driving is good now, thinking ahead can help lessen some of the worries about the future. Explore the presence of shuttles, carpooling and other resources. This way, if your friend or relative is feeling unwell they have alternatives. Also, if they are hesitating in hanging up their keys, having other options could help them decide.
If you have been injured in a car collision anywhere in South Florida, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation with a Hollywood car accident attorney. Our team in Hollywood, Miami, and Homestead is committed to helping plaintiffs and we can review your situation to offer legal advice and representation.