AAA Study: Seniors Who Have Fallen Face Higher Risk In Car Crashes

A recent AAA Foundation study has revealed some compelling links between seniors who have fallen, and the same potential for those seniors to cause or be part of car accidents. It is believed that in preventing falls amongst seniors, the roads can be made a good deal safer for everyone.

What The AAA Study Says On Seniors, Falling, And Car Crashes

Older drivers who have an established history of falling make for a considerably higher risk for car crashes than those who don’t. These drivers are forty percent more likely to be involved in a car accident of some kind. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released their findings on through a report entitled Associations Between Falls and Driving Outcomes in Older Adults. It is the latest in the foundation’s ongoing work with their LongROAD project.

The study strongly indicates that a fall can limit the ability of a senior to function properly behind the wheel of a car. Information such as this brings a greater sense of urgency to the statistics that state approximately 12 million seniors are expected to experience falling each year, and 400,000 will be involved in a car crash.

Related: Fall Prevention Tips for the Elderly

Drivers over the age of sixty are involved in over four hundred thousand crashes per year. It is the belief of Peter Kissinger, the President and CEO of the foundation, that this information can be used to determine the crash risk potential of a senior citizen.

The study indicates that a fall can potentially cause damage to functional ability. This means that it can later be difficult for a senior to continue steering or braking, in order to avoid crashing. It is also possible for the fall to give the senior a fear of falling again. This can lead to a decrease in physical activity, which in turn can lead to diminished driving skills.

Another element to the study concerns what these seniors should do. For example, it is important to remember that falling can be a keen indicator of diminishing physical fitness. Addressing the physical conditions associated with these falls can serve to make the senior stronger, more aware of their surroundings. This in turn can lead to the senior being better equipped to handle driving on the road.

The AAA recommends various exercises and stretches that improve body functionality can be a good way to stave off these falls, which in turn can stave off potential crashes. More information can be found here.

Driverless Cars

Lots of seniors value their independence and prefer to be able to drive as long as they are able to. Unfortunately, our physical health will likely deteriorate as we age. Currently, a number of companies including Google has been researching and developing prototypes for driverless cars. This technology can really be helpful for seniors who may no longer be able to drive.

Mobile Medical Alert Systems/ 911 Call Buttons (Getting Help On the Go)

For seniors who drive frequently, mobile GPS medical alert systems or emergency alert button devices could be something to consider. One example is a 911 call button that can be kept in the car’s glove compartment. There are also mobile alert buttons that will allow seniors to connect with a private call monitoring center staffed with trained emergency dispatchers, just like medical alert buttons used at home.


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