Older Drivers at Greater Risk for CrashingJuly 25, 2017
Older, more experienced employees offer a certain skill set that their younger counterparts often do not yet possess. The skills, knowledge, and confidence older employees have tend to come with age. However, workers who drive for work and are 55 and older are more likely to wear a seatbelt and follow the speed limit. However, they are also much more likely to be involved in serious car accidents, compared to their younger counterparts. In fact, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, employees 55 and older are twice as likely to suffer fatal injuries in a workplace car accident than younger employees.
How Age Can Impact Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the following are examples of certain mental and physical abilities that can decline with age:
- Eyesight: It is common for eyesight to worsen with age. Older drivers often have trouble with night blindness and require more time to adjust to light changes. They may also be more sensitive to glare from headlights and sun glare. Disease such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration also become more common.
- Hearing loss: Many older people suffer a degree of hearing loss, which can make it more difficult to hear horns, sirens, or warning signs from other vehicles.
- Age-related disease: Certain diseases can impact a person’s ability to drive safely, including diabetes, arthritis, sleep apnea, Parkinson’s disease, and the use of medications used to treat these conditions, which may cause drowsiness or interfere with sleep.
- Motor skills: When basic skills, such as strength, flexibility, and coordination decline, it can impact a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle.
- Mental abilities: Other abilities that decline with age include memory, attention span, judgment, and the ability to react quickly to a situation.
Tips to Prevent Age-Related Driving Accidents
While we cannot stop the aging process, there are things that both employers and employees can do to prevent accidents from happening.
Employers can take the following steps to protect older workers:
- Require that seat belts be used at all times.
- Use GPS, or other similar technology to monitor employees’ speed.
- Offer flexible scheduling to ensure employees are able to get enough sleep.
- Establish a zero-tolerance policy with regard to impaired and distracted driving.
- Provide training programs to help improve older drivers’ driving skills.
Employees should also do their part by taking the following steps to ensure their safety:
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or while drowsy or distracted.
- Consult with your doctor about whether any medication you are taking can cause drowsiness, or other side effects that could impact your ability to drive.
- Make annual appointments with an eye doctor to ensure that your vision is not declining.
- Use a driving self-assessment tool to determine whether you need additional training in specific areas.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Older Injured Employees
If you have been injured in a work-related car accident, the dedicated and compassionate Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are on your side. We will guide you through the claims process and fight to ensure that you receive the full benefits to which you are entitled. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.