A recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine reported that doctors, nurses and other health care professionals may be waiting too long to speak with their elderly patients about potential driving impairments and alternatives to driving. The study, which was conducted by the Colorado University (CU) School of Medicine and the CU School of Nursing, was limited in nature and involved interviews with focus groups, as well as with eight health care professionals and more than 30 drivers who were at least 65 years old. According to the study’s findings:
- Many people live well beyond their ability to drive and, on average, outlive their driving capacity by at least six years.
- Medical professionals typically wait until an elderly person has been involved in a car accident, has displayed a physical impairment or has another “red flag” event before bringing up whether it is, in fact, safe for them to drive.
- Many elderly patients are open to having discussions regarding their ability to drive later in life with their health care professionals despite the fact that these conversations tend to happen too late.
One of the reasons that this study is so important is that physical impairments, such as the loss of vision and hearing, can slow the reaction times of elderly drivers and may end up increasing the risk of serious car accidents for others on the roads.
Car Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in or have lost a loved one in a car accident or in any type of traffic accident, you are encouraged to consult with the motor vehicle accident lawyers at the Law Office of Mike Hulen, PC.
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