The CDC reports that every day, over 1,000 drivers are hurt in crashes involving distracted drivers. Each month, approximately 270 people die in crashes involving distracted drivers. Elderly drivers tend to be very safe, but their reaction times can be slower.
The Department of Psychology at Brandeis University studied reaction times. Adults in the study ranged from age 32 to 85. With some tests, the youngest age group reacted in 1.15 seconds compared to 1.5 in seniors over the age of 75. Even a fraction of a second can make a difference when driving.
What Are the Common Distractions?
- When you’re driving, there are three main distractions: manual, mental, and visual. All three can be dangerous.
- Manual distractions are actions that require you to take one or both hands off the wheel. You might be reaching into your purse to get lip balm or grabbing your coffee from the cup holder.
- Mental distractions are things that distract your focus. You’re thinking about an argument you had with your spouse last night. You’re busy planning your schedule and keeping your mind from focusing fully on driving.
- Visual distractions involve taking your eyes off the road. You look down to change the radio station. You look at your cell phone to see who just texted you.
- Distracted Driving Affects the Elderly, Too
- Your elderly parent may not be heavily into technology, but that doesn’t rule out all chances of distracted driving. Your dad is fascinated by the new wind turbines built in town. While driving, his quick glance at them turns into too long a gaze. He drives off the road.
- Your mom reaches into her purse while driving. She wants to refresh her lipstick before reaching her friend’s house. While glancing down at her purse, she runs a stop sign and hits another vehicle.
- Finally, your parent could be an exceptional driver and still be at risk. Your mom is doing nothing wrong. Her attention is on the road. As she waits to make a left turn, someone behind her is busy texting. That driver hits the back of your mom’s car and pushes her into a busy intersection.
What Can You Do?
Make sure you discuss distracted driving with your parents. Go out with them and let them drive. Make sure they’re still capable of driving. You can’t prevent every accident, but you’ll be able to know when it’s time to take their keys away.
When they do need to stop driving, hire senior care services. Caregivers can drive your parents to stores, appointments, senior centers, and other locations. Call an agency to learn more about senior care options.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Sandy Springs, GA, please call the caring staff at Always Care Nursing Services today. Call for Assistance: (404) 266-8773 or (800) 989-7828
Administrator of 3 Florida (Always Care) Home Health Agencies for over Fourteen years.
Always Care of Georgia since 2001
Served as a 1st Lt. In the US Army