Declining vision is a much more serious car accident risk factor for senior drivers than we may believe. According to the results of a new study, it is linked to an 84% higher risk of being involved in car accidents.
Seniors may suffer from a number of health challenges as they get older that increase their risks of being involved in an auto accident, and one of the most significant of those challenges is declining vision. Being unable to see clearly or the lack of a wide range of vision that allows the driver to see not just ahead but also identify auto accident risks from the sides, can significantly impact the person’s risk of being involved in a dangerous car accident. It is for this reason that most states, including Georgia, have laws in place that require senior drivers to get their eyesight tested at regular intervals as a condition for license renewal.
At a recent conference of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, researchers presented the results of a study which found that the current eye testing system that is currently followed in so many states may not be the ideal way to determine senior health and the capacity of older motorists to avoid car accidents.
The researchers analyzed data of more than 31,000 drivers above the age of 50. Their analysis found that 14% of these drivers had been involved in car accidents, and that more than 50% of these drivers who had been involved in accidents had suffered from some degree of vision loss. Interestingly, loss in the central field of vision did not significantly impact the senior’s car accident risks, but severe vision loss in any quadrant did increase car crash risks. The researchers say that declining peripheral vision is a major factor in car accidents.
Unfortunately, most eye tests will focus on a person’s ability to identify distant objects clearly. The results of the study, however, find that it is not the ability to identify distant objects clearly which can impact a senior driver’s accident risks. Rather, it is the difficulty to see and identify vehicles or people approaching from the sides that can impact those crashes. When a motorist has a wide range of vision, he finds it easier to identify these car accident risks from the side and respond to these immediately. The researchers say that it is important for doctors, clinicians and senior motorists to take into consideration the importance of an optimum field of vision in order to reduce auto accident risks.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries in auto 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 damages that include medical costs, lost income and other forms of compensation. Talk to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your case.