Many of us worry about our aging family members getting behind the wheel. Even if it’s obvious that our loved one is physically or mentally unable to drive safely, it is hard to ask them to give up their independence. We often postpone the talk until something happens. Perhaps the best thing to do is ask a doctor to do the talking. A new study has found that a doctor’s advice may be all that’s needed to keep an older driver from become a Dallas car accident victim.
The Canadian study was published in the September 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers found that patients who were told by their doctors that it was time to stop driving were 45 percent less likely to be involved in a car accident resulting in serious injury than were drivers of the same age who hadn’t had similar conversations with their doctors.
But delivering the news can affect the patient-doctor relationship. Thirty percent of those who were told to stop driving visited their doctors less often in the following year. Ten percent did not return to that doctor.
In addition, not driving can affect a patient’s mental well-being. Patients who were told to stop driving were more likely to suffer depression, regardless of whether they followed the doctor’s advice.
While we can’t advocate letting a physically unfit driver get behind the wheel, we wonder if there might be a better way. The authors of the study think there is. They believe that a graduated license program for elderly drivers could reduce car crashes while still allowing our loved ones to keep their independence.
The Dallas accident lawyers at Rasansky Law Firm are here to help those injured in car accidents. To learn what you can do to protect your Texas car accident claim, request a free copy of our book, Biggest Mistakes Drivers Make After an Accident, or call the Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313.