A new study has uncovered a link between seniors with a history of falls and increased risk for being involved in a car accident. Those who have fallen in the past are at a 40 percent higher risk of being involved in a traffic accident.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analyzed the connection between an older person’s history of falling and their risk of being involved in auto accidents in efforts to better improve safety. Though this study was conducted by AAA in the United States, the findings are relevant to older drivers across Canada as well.
Each year, 12 million older people will experience a fall. The impact of the event can affect the person while behind the wheel, restricting their ability to function, which can be a detriment to the safety of all on the roads.
- Physical limitations, such as fractures, can limit an older driver’s ability to control their vehicle.
- Falls can make a person fearful of future fall incidents, which may cause them to limit their physical activity. Decreased physical activity can negatively impact one’s driving abilities.
The study findings also highlight ways older drivers can improve their safety both on the roads and off. Previous falls should be treated as an indicator of a possible decline in one’s physical health and fitness.
After a fall, any health issue that contributed to the incident should be addressed with medical professionals. This can improve strength and function, lowering future fall risk, as well as auto accident risk. Factors that can cause falls include vision issues, balance, weakness, some medications and reduced reaction time.
Older drivers are encouraged to participate in activities that boost balance, flexibility and muscle strength in efforts to limit future falls. Focusing on fall prevention can benefit older drivers’ safety behind the wheel as well.
If a negligent driver caused your injuries, the auto accident lawyers at Greg Monforton and Partners will work to recover the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages.