June 3rd, 2013 - by DKRPA
The Journal of General Internal Medicine will release a new issue today, and a study in this new issue will be of particular importance to Palm Beach and, really, all Florida residents. The study deals with older drivers and how initiating the “it’s time to stop driving” conversation with them is not happening soon enough.
Researchers from the University of Colorado discovered that family members are seemingly reluctant to begin that talk. Often it is a nurse or doctor who first has that talk with an older driver — and yet, even that discussion is not happening early enough, according to the study. This was determined by analyzing the behavior of older drivers in response to giving up driving. They were actually more willing to give up driving earlier in their life than later.
As a result, this study certainly indicates that innocent lives could be saved by encouraging older drivers to give up the car keys preemptively, as opposed to waiting for an issue to arise.
Still, when is the right time to have that talk? Sure “earlier in a person’s life” is more appropriate — but it’s hardly specific. Some older people see their driving skills rapidly degenerate in their 60s; others are totally capable of driving into their late 70s.
Ultimately, though, older people are one of the most car accident-prone demographics on the road. This study is a reminder of that, in addition to highlighting the fact that something proactive needs to be done to protect the lives of older drivers and hundreds of others out on the road every day.
Source: Examiner, “Study: Doctors waiting too long to tell elderly to stop driving (Video),” Paul Hamaker, June 3, 2013