Giving up the right to drive is never an easy decision. It is inconvenient and can feel embarrassing and demoralizing at first. However, senior citizens cause a disproportionate number of fatal car accidents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, per mile traveled, fatal car crash rates increase noticeably between the ages 70 and 74. They are at their highest among drivers who are older than 85.
It is important for everyone to know their limitations as they age. If you are unsure if you are safe behind the wheel, discuss your concerns with a doctor.
If you were injured in a crash that another driver caused, contact Morris Bart & Associates, LLC. A Mobile car accident lawyer can determine if you have grounds for a claim.
Road Safety Is the Top Priority
As The National Archives explains, it can be difficult to know when to give up driving – particularly if you do not notice a sudden deterioration in your health or eyesight. However, it is important to remember that your safety and the safety of other road users is your top priority. Do not wait for an accident to happen before you decide not to drive.
Possible Warning Signs
Here are a few signs that indicate you may need to stop driving:
- Your reactions have slowed;
- You feel stressed and anxious in traffic;
- Your eyesight is deteriorating;
- Or you have developed a medical condition that affects your ability to drive safely.
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You may also have to give up driving – at least during certain hours – if you take a medication that causes drowsiness. Fatigue can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. It can reduce your reaction time, inhibit your focus, and possibly cause you to fall asleep behind the wheel.
According to the American Association of Retired Persons, common medications that cause fatigue include:
- Certain blood pressure medicines;
- Fibrates and statins;
- Proton pump inhibitors;
- And antihistamines.
Important Steps to Take If You Stop Driving
If you notice the signs of physical, visual or cognitive decline, ask your doctor if it is safe for you to drive. You may need to undergo a driving assessment. Even if you are confident that you will pass, a driving test can refresh your skills.
The decision not to drive comes with a multitude of questions. How will you shop for groceries? What should you do in an emergency?
Discuss your concerns with family and friends. Before bringing up the topic, have a good idea of when you will probably need transportation. You can always use a rideshare service, such as Uber or Lyft, or public transportation.
If you were injured by a negligent driver, contact a Mobile car accident attorney from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free c