Aging happens gradually, and senior drivers in Michigan and across the country may not notice the slow decline in their driving abilities. Not only are there physical changes with which to deal, but motor vehicles as well as the act of driving have gone through significant changes over the decades. For this reason, older drivers might face unforeseen challenges, even if they are still young at heart.
The primary concerning areas for senior drivers
Most seniors are conscientious and relatively safe drivers. However, there is no getting away from changes to hearing, vision and reaction times. Another concern involves medication that could affect the ability to drive. It is vital to ask a physician about the side effects of prescribed and over-the-counter medicines that might make driving unsafe.
Hearing and vision
Seniors should have their hearing tested annually. When it becomes a problem, hearing aids might be the answer. Furthermore, avoiding distractions and loud music could make it easier to hear approaching emergency vehicles and car horns.
Vision typically deteriorates with age. Having eye tests frequently could turn out to be life-saving. It even applies to those who already wear glasses because existing corrective lenses may no longer be effective.
A wide variety of devices are available to help those with limited mobility. Senior drivers can discuss the available options with an occupational therapist or their doctors. Several options involve modifications to the vehicle to extend the time an older person can continue driving.
Michigan motorists who become victims of car accidents caused by the negligence of others, including senior drivers, could pursue financial relief through the civil justice system. For a personal injury claim to be viable, the plaintiff must prove negligence on the part of the defendant. Once that is established, the court can adjudicate documented claims for economic and non-economic damages.