But because the diminishment of our skills and abilities is gradual, sometimes older people don’t notice that they are not as capable behind the wheel of a car as they were once. To one degree or another, reactions are slowed in an older driver and vision is dimmed, hearing isn’t as clear and their arms are not as strong — and when all these things are put together, some older drivers are a danger to the rest of us when they are behind the wheel of a car.
We should note that we do not mean to suggest that all older drivers are unsafe or that most are dangerous. We simply want to point out that all of us are aging and that for certain individuals, driving skills diminish to a point that puts others at risk.
We read recently of a tragedy far south of Pittsburgh, sadly involving an older driver who was apparently momentarily confused. In that moment, she confused her gas pedal for her brake pedal. Rather than slowing at a congested intersection, her vehicle slammed into several other cars, including one carrying a young family.
A TV station reported that an infant died in the Altamonte Springs, Florida, crash, as did the baby’s father. The baby’s mom was critically injured.
For those who have a loved one showing signs of declining abilities, it might be a good idea to run down the checklist provided by aging-parents-and-elder-care.com. The list can help you decide whether it’s time or not to apply the brakes to an older driver.
The last thing anyone wants is for a car accident to take place that could have been prevented, causing injuries and possibly even fatalities.