Thursday, June 4, 2009

Senior Drivers in the news

I have posted previously about the importance of early identification of symptoms, such as dementia. In this way we can ensure the safety of both seniors, and society. Dementia, while it cannot be reversed, we can pay attention to symptoms and help alleviate symptoms.

With increased limitations to mobility and access to sensory information, senior drivers must be vigilant, and solutions, such as physiotherapy, can help increase their ability to drive safely.
As I wrote previously in, Senior Drivers in Ontario,
"Transport Canada warns of those in intersections being the most at risk. Current stats, in the recent Ontario move to more severely curtail teen drivers, reveals statistics that demonstrate seniors are more risky than newbie teen drivers."

The news reports are clear...

Tests for over-75 drivers backed
The Republican - - Springfield,MA,USA
The action comes after a spate of fatal accidents recently involving elderly drivers in Massachusetts.

Driving Debate: Elderly hit-and-run case raises question 'How old ...
WHO-TV - Des Moines,IA,USA
Last year, 42 people were killed in a crash involving a senior citizen. Now many people asking what steps are being taken to ensure elderly drivers are fit

Senior drivers get bad rap.
19 Jul 2007 ... Senior drivers are nearly seven times more likely than younger drivers to be killed in a two-car accident.

Man, 76, killed following fiery crash near White City, SK
SASKATCHEWAN - Emergency crews were called to the intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 48 east of Regina at 5:14 p.m. after learning about a two-vehicle collision that had just occurred there between a truck and a car. [24 MAY 09]

Old Drivers[PDF]
Senior Drivers and Highway Design. HUMAN FACTORS NORTH INC. Older drivers were 1.65 times more likely to be in an accident turning left with no ...

Accidents involving senior drivers climb in Ottawa
Ottawa police say accidents involving senior drivers continue to rise each year and it's time for family and relatives to be more aware of problems ...

Mother and baby injured as car crashes into Danvers Wal-Mart
Boston Globe - United States
Senior citizens should undergo drivers' tests. That is not discriminatory as organizations such as AARP falsely claim. It is common sense, as too many of ...

Police: Elderly Driver Loses Control, Injures 8 - Boston News ...

3 Jun 2009 ... Eight people are injured when a car goes out of control in Plymouth. ... Crowd Had Gathered To See Vietnam Memorial ... The driver of the car was a 73-year-old woman who was dropping her ... A 93-year-old man drove his car into a Wal-Mart in Danvers, Mass., Tuesday, seriously injuring a young girl.

And an excellent article by a physician:

PHYSICIAN FOCUS: Assessing the older driver

Posted Jul 28, 2009 @ 05:47 PM, By Dr. Janet L. Jankowiak

"In 2004, I wrote about issues surrounding older drivers, as accidents caused by elderly motorists resulting in multiple deaths focused nationwide attention on the subject.

The facts are clear about elderly drivers.

Federal Highway Administration data
  • drivers 75 years and older have higher rates of fatal motor vehicle crashes than any other age group except teenagers.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
  • drivers 85 and older have nearly twice the number of fatal accidents as those 16 to 19.
Collisions and traffic violations in the elderly population reflect:
  • errors of inattention
  • failure to yield
  • difficulty maneuvering
  • driving too slowly
  • Left-hand turns are dangerous.
More safety tips for senior drivers
Boston Globe - Boston,MA,USA
When choosing a car, elderly drivers should pick smaller vehicles that ... AARP's entire eight-hour senior driving course is available online for review. ...

Elderly motorists may be put to test
Boston Herald - Boston,MA,USA
By Hillary Chabot and Edward Mason Elderly drivers over age 75 could face ... the safety of our senior drivers as well as other motorists and pedestrians. ...


Barbara Martin said...

Despite the mention of elderly drivers in the news, their numbers are much lower than the other ages. By eating fresh fruits and vegetables and keeping well hydrated some forms of dementia can be reversed. To be dehydrated causes the blood in the vessels to thicken with the potential to cause clots, so we elderly people must all drink our 8 glasses of water plus the other assorted beverages available to us.

Jenn Jilks said...

This is true Barbara, however, the statistics show that they cause more accident, especially at intersections! How incredible is that?

Dementia is a series of symptoms, with a variety of etiolgies, rather than one disease. My dad's dementia was due to the brain tumour taking the blood supply his brain needed.

There are many causes of dementia. While I am somewhat skeptical that some dementia can be reversed, it can be slowed. So often it is undiagnosed as people can appear 'normal'. Adult children avoid taking responsibility for their parent's symptoms. Neighbours enable the cover up by not telling caregivers.

Often, too, dementia is often confused with delirium - which is temporary. That said, we all need to be vigilant. It begins in our 50s, to prevent it. OFten it is too late after the onset of symptoms.