It’s no secret that falls are one of the biggest physical threats facing the elderly. As individuals grow older, they often experience great difficulties in balance and stability, suffer weakness in their lower body and can be subject to foot and joint pain. Further situations that can play into seniors falling and injuring themselves include factors such as nursing home neglect and failure to accommodate their limited mobility. All these conditions put seniors at an extreme risk for dangerous falls.
But what may come as a surprise is these falls can contribute to a much higher risk for automobile accidents. The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has found three ways that falls can affect a senior’s ability to drive:
- Falls can cause an injury that inhibits a senior’s mobility and interferes with their ability to drive.
- Falls can increase a fear of falling, leading to reduced physical activity, which in turn degrades their physical fitness and heavily affects their ability to drive
- Falls can leave lasting negative psychological effects, which can lead to changes in behavior including driving behavior
Falls are a very serious threat facing senior citizens in this country, and very clear evidence shows that falls can make elderly motorists a threat to both themselves and other drivers. However, falls are a highly preventable risk and taking the right steps can ensure they do not put seniors at risk when they get behind the wheel.
If an elderly loved one has recently suffered a fall, it’s essential that you take the proper steps to ensure that this doesn’t cause further damage. If a fall has entirely negated a senior’s ability to drive safely, it may be time for them to hand over the keys and not put themselves, or others, in a position of risk.
If you feel a senior’s fall was a result of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, or if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving an elderly driver, please contact the law offices of Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678, or live chat online to discuss further action.