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Mild Cognitive Declines May Push Seniors to Give Up Driving

Older people who suffer mild mental declines are likely to make the decision to give up driving in order to eliminate their risks  of being involved in auto accidents.

Concerns  about senior drivers have increased over the past decade with the increase in the number of motorists above the age of 65 driving on our streets.  With life expectancies at all time highs,  it is natural that we see many  senior drivers on our roads.  Driving  is  key to senior  physical and mental health.  However, seniors may suffer from several age- related declines and  impairments that reduce their ability to drive safely and increase their risks of being involved in a car accident.  Vision  may begin to fail and hearing may become less sharp as the years go by.  Even  more disturbing are the mental or cognitive declines that seniors may face as they get older.

A new study finds that most seniors who   begin to suffer mental declines like forgetfulness make the decision to give up driving on their own. As part of the study, the researchers tracked  213 seniors above the age of 72.    None  of the seniors suffered from symptoms of mental decline at the beginning of the study,  but as the years progressed, some of them began to suffer from deficiencies  including impairment in memory, judgment and reasoning.

The  researchers found that in all, 24 of the participants stopped driving during the study.  People  who had begun to suffer from mental decline,  or those who showed early symptoms of Alzheimer’s were much more likely to stop driving.  The researchers  also found that women were significantly more likely to stop driving after suffering mental declines compared to males.  They  were as much as 4 times more likely to stop driving over the course of the study.

While some seniors may understand that their declining  cognitive faculties place them at risk  of being involved in auto accidents and stop driving, others may not.  In  such cases, family members must step in to take away the car keys in order to reduce their loved one’s  risk of being involved in a car accident.  Mental declines may be especially dangerous because they may cause seniors to drive the wrong way on a one-way street,  run red lights,  drive at excessive speeds,  veer off their lanes,  or   engage in other   driving behaviors that increase their risks of being involved in a car accident.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers at Katz  Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across   the state of Georgia.  If  you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your legal options for a claim for damages.  You  may qualify for compensation that includes medical costs, lost income and other forms of damages.  Talk  to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your case.

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