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Difference in Perception May Increase Accident Risks among Elderly Drivers in Atlanta

Elderly drivers in Atlanta may be plagued by a variety of health issues, like failing vision that can increase their risk of an auto accident. However, new research suggests that vision problems among the elderly may be much more complicated than simply failing eyesight. The study seems to suggest that the elderly have trouble seeing objects in the foreground, which increases the risk of an accident with pedestrians and bicyclists. Of course, pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents generally result in extremely serious injuries.

The study was conducted at the University of Rochester, and found that older people have impaired activity in the medial temporal visual area of the brain. This part of the brain suppresses movement in the background, so that the person can focus clearly on objects in the foreground. In elderly people, this section of the brain may be impaired. They may find it easy to perceive movement in the background, but not so easy to see objects that are in the foreground. That is why Atlanta car accident attorneys so often find elderly motorists involved in accidents with pedestrians and bicyclists.

The researchers used a technique called Transcranial Magnetics Stimulation, which involved attaching a magnetic card to the subject’s head, and measuring the activity of the MT area of the brain. The MT area was stimulated using electrical signals, and the researchers analyzed how well the subjects in the study identified the movement of objects. They found that when the MT area of the brain was impaired, the person could readily and easily identify objects in the background.

These results provide clues to at least one of the issues that affect elderly drivers, and also suggest that these drivers may be distracted by objects in the background because of impaired MT area activity as a result of their age. As Atlanta car accident lawyers, we believe that these results can be used to fine-tune driving programs for elderly motorists.