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When Should YOU Retire from Driving?

When Should YOU Retire from Driving?

Happy senior couple driving | When should you retire from drivingSome of us begin planning for retirement in our twenties. As the age gets closer, we prepare even more –shifting funds, meeting with financial experts, and even downsizing our homes. As more and more baby boomers hit retirement age, safety experts say they should also be thinking about a different retirement: retirement from driving.

In the state of Colorado, there is no required age to stop driving. Yet, safety experts urge all older drivers and their families to evaluate their driving habits, physical ability, and mental ability to continue driving. Any family member can request a driving test for an older driver – so can a police officer, the DMV, or even a physician. While no one wants to lose their independence too early – driving when you are no longer physically or cognitively able can be disastrous – not just for you but for others around you.

According to AAA, 86% of adults over the age of 65 still drive and 68% of those over the age of 85 continue to drive at least 5 days a week. Yet, older drivers themselves often favor tougher laws – including strict license renewals for older drivers.

Why are Older Drivers at Risk?

As you age, your body begins to grow weaker, and your bones and muscles aren’t quite what they used to be. For some older adults suffering with arthritis or other joint pain, pressing the brake pedal can be difficult. In an emergency, slamming the brakes may even be impossible. When an older driver is injured in an accident, they don’t heal as quickly as younger drivers. This means that even a minor accident could result in a fatality.

For many senior citizens, growing older often means growing forgetful. As the body ages, so does the brain. They may forget where they placed their keys, parked their cars, or even how to interpret the road signs. Some can even suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, making it even more difficult to continue driving.

Many older drivers also begin losing their sight and/or their hearing. This may make it more difficult to see a small child on the road or an oncoming motorcyclist. When you factor in the physical changes and the cognitive changes that occur with aging – there is no doubt that a driving retirement age must be considered.

Unfortunately, giving up driving is no easy task and one that the majority of older drivers wish to avoid. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Columbia University report found that older drivers that give up their keys are 2x more likely to suffer from depression. The loss of freedom that comes with giving up driving is something that often pushes older drivers to drive well past a safe age. This means that many older drivers miss the warning signs.

Further Reading: Whiplash is NO Joke

Yet, not all elderly drivers need to retire from driving. Choosing the right age to give up your keys is crucial and should be individualized. University of Colorado School of Medicine Researcher Dr. Emmy Betz believes that insurance companies should reimburse older drivers for undergoing comprehensive driving evaluations after a certain age – and for taking a specialized driver safety class.

Once such class is offered at Aurora Center for Active Adults. They discuss everything needed for older drivers to continue to drive safely, including newer technologies in vehicles, medications that may hinder their abilities to drive, and when to stop driving altogether.

The AAA website also has information for older drivers and their families, as well as a Driver Planning Agreement, which provides families with a list of discussion topics including when to hang up the car keys.

Contact Our Experienced Broomfield Car Accident Lawyers

Northglenn Car Accident Attorneys at Hull & ZimmermanIf you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Broomfield, Northglenn, Westminster, Thornton, or anywhere in Colorado, it is important to contact our experienced personal injury attorneys immediately. At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., our committed personal injury lawyers are dedicated to the belief that everyone deserves justice. Contact us at (303) 423-1770 or (866) 385-3505.

Our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience representing injured accident victims in Broomfield, Arvada, Superior, Lafayette, Louisville, Erie, Brighton, Commerce City, Northglenn, Westminster, Thornton, Longmont, and throughout Colorado.

 

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