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What factors put senior drivers at risk?

Whether you are a senior driver in Tennessee or you have an elderly motorist in your family, it is important to understand how driving is different for people as they age. Why does the risk of becoming seriously injured or dying in a traffic accident increase for drivers over the age of 65? In fact, there are several reasons why the aging adult may have difficulties behind the wheel and why these problems could lead to a devastating auto accident.

One of the most common reasons, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, is that as people age, they often experience a decline in their ability to see. This includes poor night vision, color vision and peripheral vision, all of which are essential for driver safety. When people are unable to judge the distance of an oncoming vehicle and/or the speed of traffic, they may be unable to make good choices regarding turns and speed.

Many seniors naturally develop a delayed response time, and it may take seniors longer to process crucial information about their driving environment. When mixed with heavy traffic conditions, inclement weather or distracted driving, this slow reaction time could be deadly in certain situations.

In addition, seniors are more likely to be taking prescription medication for medical conditions that could affect their ability to drive. In some cases, the mere presence of physical and/or psychological conditions could influence the way people act and react to hazards on the road.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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