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Older drivers: remaining alert about driving capabilities

Many readers, perhaps including some in Florida, say aging is for the birds. Common etymology associated with this phrase typically means that those people consider the topic at hand as trivial, worthless or something undesired. Thus, to say aging is for the birds means it's not really something to look forward to in life. Others, however, believe that people are more like fine wines and just keep getting better with age. Regardless which opinion you hold, there are definitely some factors of aging that pose various types of challenges to most people.

One area that often changes with age is the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Studies show that the older a person gets, the higher chances are that driving skills may diminish. If your last birthday cake contained 60 or more candles, this may apply to you. Intersections, in particular, may be especially dangerous places for older motorists.

Facts about driving risks in your golden years

On one hand, you may be quite happy that you're in relatively good health and able to independently get where you need to go by automobile. On the other, if you notice that your reaction time has slowed, or other potential problems are occurring more often, you are definitely not alone. Following, is a list of information regarding older drivers that may impact your current situation:

  • Merging and changing lanes on limited-access highways seems to be very challenging for older motorists.
  • Many drivers in their 60s, 70s or 80s also have trouble judging gap distance between vehicles during transition maneuvers on the road.
  • Motorists over age 80 tend to have the most trouble noticing oncoming vehicles. This can make for a highly dangerous situation if an older driver accidentally enters traffic in the wrong direction.
  • Many older drivers suffer fatal injuries in collisions where younger people may have survived the same injuries.
  • Intersections are always high-risk roadway areas. The risk for injury appears to increase if a driver age 60 or over happens to be navigating the crossroads at the time.

If you're an older driver, you may want to regularly analyze your driving skills to make sure you're still able to perform all basic tasks associated with motor vehicle operations. If, on the other hand, you're driving along and another vehicle suddenly crashes into you, and you suffer injury, you may want to investigate further to determine whether the other driver was negligent in some way.

Even when you try to be as alert and cautious behind the wheel as possible, if another motorist is distracted or impaired, you may not be able to avoid a crash. In that event, you may want to take similar action as others who have suffered injuries in past Florida collisions by seeking restitution for damages as you attempt to recover as fully as possible from your injuries.

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