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Aging and its effect on driving abilities

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Senior drivers have an ever-increasing presence on roads across Canada. Although older drivers have more experience than most other drivers, there is no getting away from the fact that aging could pose road safety risks. Even after driving for 50 years without ever being involved in a car accident, the effects of aging could bring about the first crash in a senior driver’s life.

Age-related factors

There are several declines in abilities linked to advancing age, including the following:

  • Slower reaction times
  • Reduced mobility
  • Visual impairment
  • Physical limitations in movement

Medical factors

The variety of prescription drugs and the frequency of taking them could adversely affect senior drivers. Here are some examples of medications that are prescribed more often as drivers age:

  • Non-steroidal inflammatory drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Anticoagulants

Types of accidents typically related to these factors

Statistics show that the likelihood of senior drivers being involved in side-impact crashes, intersection crashes and angle crashes is higher than for other drivers. When it comes to turn-related accidents, senior drivers are often involved in accidents during left turns across traffic flow. Furthermore, older drivers – particularly those older than 80 – are more likely to cause accidents due to traffic violations such as disregarding traffic signals or not yielding the right of way.

Legal consequences

When any of these factors cause a car accident involving a senior driver, injured victims could pursue financial relief. They can file personal injury lawsuits in civil court against the driver deemed responsible to seek reimbursement for economic and other damages.