A study examining older adults’ cognitive abilities while driving showed that although there was a decline in their ability to drive safely, much of the level of errors depended on whether or not the driver was driving familiar roads or in unfamiliar areas. As a Detroit car accident attorney, this is an important study.
Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center confirmed what other studies have shown that driving abilities decline with age and those with cognitive issues such as dementia or Alzheimer’s may have a more severe decline in abilities because of their condition. However, they went a step further than many studies have ventured in the past and took a look at how drivers did when going about their regular daily routines.
Researchers placed cameras in personal vehicles of test subjects for two weeks and compared the results to the standardized road test that is often used to measure an individual’s ability whether they are a new driver, renewing a license or older driver.
They studied 103 older adults, some who were healthy and others who were cognitively impaired driving for two weeks in their own vehicles, going about their regular routines and found that in their natural driving states, drivers performed better than in standardized testing. Researchers concluded standardized testing may require more cognitive abilities than what is required of a driver in their normal routine.
Lead author Jennifer Davis, PhD, of the department of psychiatry pointed out that while it is natural to worry about older drivers, especially if they have cognitive issues, many of the participants drove safely in the study.
“Receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease shouldn’t result in an automatic revocation of an individual’s driver’s license,” she said. “Rather, it should emphasize the importance of monitoring an older person’s driving, so that he or she can safely maintain their mobility and independence for as long as possible.”
If you or your loved one has suffered any type of serious injury in a motor vehicle crash, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced Detroit car accident attorney. At Davis Law Center, we have helped many drivers struck by elderly drivers and can get you the money you deserve. Call today for your free, private consultation.