A vast percentage of seniors who have age-related cognitive declines continue to operate motor vehicles, seriously increasing their risks of being involved in an auto accident. Senior are especially susceptible to serious personal injuries when involved in a car accident which makes preventing these accidents a high priority.
According to a new study, far too many seniors who have impaired cognitive abilities or thinking declines as per a cognitive assessment score continue to operate motor vehicles without hesitation. The study found that more than 600 adults in a particular county suffered from thinking declines as per the cognitive assessment test, and that more than 61% of these persons who suffered cognitive declines continued to drive.
Suffering a cognitive decline does not automatically mean that a person may be unable to drive. In fact, not all of the caregivers who were involved in the study believed that the senior drivers in the study had their driving skills affected by their cognitive difficulties. About one -third of the caregivers admitted to having concerns about the driver’s ability to safely operate a car. However, there are safety issues involved when a person with cognitive issues takes to the road.
Most cognitive declines can be linked to Alzheimer’s disease or age- related dementia. These early declines may not always be diagnosed on time. That means that many senior persons who continue to suffer from these symptoms may continue with their normal routine activities, including driving a car. Family members may continue to remain unaware about their loved one’s risks of being involved in a car accident.
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that close to 7 million Americans above the age of 65 live with symptoms of Alzheimer’s. That makes it one in 9 persons above the age of 65 who live with this condition. This number does not take into account the millions of Americans above the age of 65 who may be suffering from other Alzheimer’s – related symptoms. The symptoms can include forgetfulness, lack of focus and concentration, disorientation and other symptoms that can affect a person’s ability to drive a car safely.
Family members need to frequently monitor their loved one’s driving abilities in order to ensure that cognitive or thinking declines have not impacted their driving abilities. Look out for signs like forgetfulness, confusion, taking a long time to return home from a drive and other signs of cognitive declines. The researchers in the study, in fact, insist on families and caregivers frequently providing on- the- road evaluations of the motorist’s driving skills. During an on- the- road evaluation of a senior driver, look out for sudden and unnecessary braking, sudden acceleration of speeds, breaking traffic rules, running red lights and general confusion.
The Atlanta car accident 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 determine your legal options for a claim for damages. You may qualify for a claim that includes damages for medical expenses, lost income and other forms of compensation. Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case. Initial consultations are free.