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Driving safely in old age - checklists help to assess problems

Driving safely in old age - checklists help to assess problems



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Doctors publish checklists to assess fitness to drive in old age

As people get older, the ability to concentrate and the ability to coordinate are often reduced. These negative effects can then lead to problems and dangerous situations, especially in road traffic. Experts have now published checklists for older drivers, which are intended to help assess roadworthiness.

The scientists of the non-profit Alzheimer Research Initiative e.V. (AFI) published checklists for older drivers and their families, which are intended to help affected people to better assess their driving skills. The complete guide entitled “Safe driving in old age” can be viewed free of charge.

Why do older people often have traffic problems?

Due to their inability to concentrate and their lack of coordination, older people can have an increased risk of accidents in road traffic. Problems with hearing and seeing, restrictions on movement as well as taking medication and its side effects lead to an increased risk in road traffic for older road users. Another problem is dementia, such as Alzheimer's.

Affected people should seek help from a doctor

With the help of checklists, the persons concerned should be able to better assess their own situation. If one or even more questions are answered with “yes” in these checklists, those affected can determine their personal risk when driving a vehicle. Drivers should then seek a conversation with a doctor and be informed about the possible dangers.

Warning signs of possible health problems

There are various signs that can indicate health problems. These include, for example, a lack of orientation and a reduced ability to react, which occurs particularly when traffic lights and traffic signs are recognized. Mixing up gas, clutch and brake can also lead to difficulties in traffic. Nervousness that occurs in heavy traffic and a generally unsafe driving style or even situations in which those affected are often almost involved in an accident indicate possible health problems.

Relatives should pay attention to these points

The checklist for relatives includes various assessments of the behavior of the people concerned in road traffic. These then include, for example, whether those affected are behaving aggressively or fearfully on the road or often fail to observe the right of way. Missing flashing before turning or changing lanes and attempts to turn after missing a departure indicate possible problems when driving a vehicle. (as)

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