Giving up the one thing that maintains their independence is tough for older drivers nationwide, including in Michigan. However, several changes take place with aging, and disregarding them could lead to serious car accidents. Furthermore, being held legally liable for damages of crash victims is another possibility. However, age alone does not make a person an unsafe driver. Self-assessment is crucial for most drivers at around 60 years and older.
Deteriorating vision happens over time and could be overlooked. Senior drivers must assess whether they can still read street and highway signs. Likewise, their vision has become a problem if they have difficulty seeing pavement markings, line lanes, medians, pedestrians and other vehicles. Self-assessment of vision is best done at challenging times like night, dusk and dawn.
Diminished physical fitness
Flexibility, coordination and strength are the three aspects of physical fitness to assess. Signs of problems could include trouble turning the head to check for traffic at intersections and changing lanes. People who do not walk at least a distance equal to one street block per day and find it challenging to go up and down stairs and lift their arms above shoulder height show signs of diminishing physical fitness.
Slowed reaction time
Collisions could occur in the blink of an eye, and the slightest delay in reaction could be enough. Driving already requires coping with multiple activities at a time, and if all the road markings, signals, signs, traffic and pedestrians become overwhelming, it could affect reaction times. Senior drivers who experience dizziness, have seizures, take medication that causes drowsiness, or get confused or lost might be better off using alternative transportation.
Victims of car accidents caused by the negligence of any other driver, including older drivers, could pursue financial relief by filing personal injury lawsuits in a Michigan civil court.