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Older drivers and accidents

More seniors in Knoxville are living longer than ever and are holding on to their driving privileges much longer. Even though they have a wealth of driving experience, many seniors still find themselves involved in car accidents. Older people have different driving habits than they had when they were younger.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of senior motorists who sustain injuries in car accidents is 586. The number of older drivers on the roads increased by 34 percent from 1999 to 2012, resulting in 36 million senior citizens who exercise their driving privileges. Older drivers who are involved in car crashes are more likely to suffer from severe injuries than younger motorists. This is due to their age, diminished vision and cognitive abilities, medication and less dexterity, states ABC News.

Older drivers are often considered one of the safest driving groups because they limit the amount of time they spend on the roads. They are less likely to travel when it is dark outside and in areas like the freeway where there is a high volume of traffic. Senior drivers also tend to wear their seatbelts when they are behind the wheel. However, when they do get into accidents, it is often because they make critical driving mistakes, such as driving too slowly, keeping an improper driving distance and not noticing traffic signs.

Seniors who take certain medications, exhibit diminished vision, mental functions and lack driving confidence are at risk for car wrecks and should consider using an alternative means of transportation.


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