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How Old Is Too Old to Drive?
By Liz Aug 30, 2012 1:57pm
About Medical Unit
Health reporting and analysis from the ABC News Medical
A Day in the Life
day-in-the-life/) unit/) (http://twitter.com/lizzyfit)
med/) besser/) Tell Me the Truth,
Preston Carter, 100 year old driver, injures 11 in Los Angeles accident.
A driver who will be 101 (http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/100-year-old-driver-hits-children-17113689) in
September backed out of a parking lot near an elementary school in Los Angeles, plowing into 11 people, including nine children. Fortunately no one died as a result of the incident on Wednesday, but it highlights the challenge that aging drivers and their families face in deciding when it’s time to get off the road. Although they only account for about 9 percent of the population, National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (http://www.nhtsa.gov/)statistics show senior drivers account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and 17 percent of all pedestrian fatalities.
A recent report by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found the rate of deaths involving drivers 75 to 84 is about three per million miles driven – on par with teen drivers. Once they pass age 85, vehicular fatality rates jump to nearly four times that of teens.
Richard Nix, executive director of Agingcare.com (http://www.agingcare.com/), says many senior drivers don’t realize their eyesight, hearing and reflexes aren’t as sharp as they used to be. They may be taking medication that impairs judgment, memory or coordination or suffer from arthritis or Alzheimer’s.
Consequently they may not realize it when they blow past a stop sign, forget to signal a right turn or confuse the gas pedal with the brake.
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