According to the statistics of the recent years, senior citizens face certain challenges in their driving capabilities as they age gradually. For example, many of them tend to overlook the traffic sign boards or skip the red lights. Also, taking sharp turns also becomes difficult and strenuous. Though logically, older people are as safe as the younger generation, due to the medical conditions and overall fitness of the individual, the driving reflex tends to decrease as compared to their younger days.
For example, vision problems due to old age are one of the biggest challenges that affect senior drivers. Reports reveal that when the individual crosses 40 years, he generally requires 20 times more illumination to guide his vision than when he is half this age. Also, the capability of judging distance and speed adds to the risk. Lesser flexibility and observation skills are other factors that commonly increase the risk of car accidents due to aging.
People who continue driving after they have crossed 75 years of age increase the risk of fatal crashes. In fact, experts say that a senior citizen who drives post 85 years is a riskier driver than a teenage new comer. More than the capability or experience, the risk is due to the general physical health of the individual as they age.
With the increasing age expectancy and improvement in the overall health of the individuals, transport officials estimate that by 2030, we may have more than 57 million senior citizens driving on the road! This throws up a unique challenge on the general road safety.
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