Fall History Increases Accident Risk in Older Adults

A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has uncovered a link between falls and automobile accidents. The study found that older adults with a history of falling are at a 40 percent greater risk of being involved an auto accident than those with no fall history.

Link between Falling and Auto Accidents

Every year, approximately 12 million older adults will experience a fall. Additionally, adults age 60 and above are involved in more than 400,000 automobile accidents every year.

This new study finds that a fall history can impact a person’s driving capacity, making driving potentially unsafe for both the driver and others.

Falls can cause injuries such as fractures and sprains that make driving difficult, limiting the driver’s ability to physically perform steering maneuvers or to brake. Falling can also decrease physical activity, as older adults may be afraid of repeat falls; this lack of activity can also negatively impact one’s driving abilities.

Fall Prevention Could Improve Roadway Safety

The link between falls and auto accidents suggests that efforts to prevent falls could positively impact roadway safety. By working to prevent falls, older drivers may avoid the fear that causes them to avoid physical activity, which can contribute to a decline in their driving skills.

Falls can be an indication of health problems, including poor balance, vision issues, and other ailments. Addressing underlying medical issues can improve physical ability and lower the risk of repeated falls.

Older drivers are encouraged to participate in activities that sharpen physical skills that are essential to safe driving. Improving balance, strength, and flexibility may enhance driver safety.

Have you or someone you love suffered an injury in a car accident caused by a negligent elderly person? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. The car accident attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of the injured and will fight to maximize the compensation you deserve.