What impact does falling have on older drivers?

If you are an older driver and have a history of falling, your chances of being involved in a car accident are significantly higher. A recent study has found that when compared to other people their age, seniors who have suffered a fall are 40 percent more likely to be in a motor vehicle crash, according to the American Automobile Association.

A fall can affect your ability to drive in a few different ways. Suffering a fall can be a traumatic experience, and the psychological fear can remain long after the physical injuries heal. Because many people are scared of falling again, they reduce their activity level and their driving skills become weaker. In addition, an injury from a fall, such as a sprained ankle or a broken arm, can make driving difficult for seniors since it does take muscle strength and coordination in order to operate a car’s pedals and steering wheel.

If you have suffered a fall, you are not alone. It is estimated that falls happen to approximately 12 million older Americans every year. However, since over 400,000 accidents each year involve a driver over the age of 60, preventing falls and recovering from them are important public health issues.

There are some things you can do after a fall to keep your driving skills up to snuff. There are many forms of low impact exercise that help increase your flexibility, strengthen your balance and improve your muscle tone. You may also want to enroll in a driving course designed for older drives to keep yourself confident behind the wheel.

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