The elderly population has increased consistently in the U.S. and the number of older adults in the country is expected to be almost 90 million by the year 2050. With that comes growing concerns of safety concerns with senior driver. Senior motorists may suffer a number of declines in their vision, hearing and other faculties, and this affects their risk of being involved in an accident. Specifically, decreases in hearing could significantly affect those crash risks.
Those findings come from a new study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety which found an elevated accident risk per mile driven for seniors due to the reduction in their sensory abilities and drop in psychomotor and cognitive abilities. According to the study, it is important to understand the driving patterns and risk exposure of senior drivers, and also understand how these declining abilities affect the safety of these motorists.
One impairment that many seniors face as they get older is a drop in their hearing abilities. Hearing impairment can increase crash risks for a senior motorist because they are less likely to hear horns, or other audible cues around them. They may be less likely to see vehicles that are trying to pass them, or even an approaching vehicle. According to the study, hearing impairment is much more dangerous because it can affect other senses, and further increase a person’s risk of being involved in an accident. For example, hearing impairment can impede a person’s vision and cognitive impairment, further affecting the senior’s ability to drive safely.