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Study shows a new catalyst for elderly driver auto accidents

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2023 | Car Accidents

Drivers in New Jersey need to be aware of potential dangers on the road. While speeding, distracted drivers, reckless drivers and those who have gotten behind the wheel under the influence are known factors in crashes, there are certain demographics who are prone to being involved in collisions or driving in a way that leads to accidents.

Younger drivers and elderly drivers carry with them hallmarks that can make them dangerous on the road. Teens are lacking experience and wisdom. Older people’s reaction time and judgment tends to decrease making accidents more likely. Researchers who have been studying crashes involving elderly people made an interesting discovery that others who are on the road need to think about. This could be critical if there is an accident and there are injuries or a loss of life.

Older drivers increasingly have ADHD

A Columbia University study found that elderly people who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have a far greater chance of being in an auto accident than those who do not have it. ADHD is usually a challenge experienced by younger people and diagnosed as such. This research shows that it is impacting the elderly as well and it could be leading to accidents.

People with ADHD have trouble paying attention, are impulsive and are hyperactive. The study linked older people’s behavior behind the wheel with ADHD diagnoses. It looked at incidents in which drivers had to hit the brakes suddenly, were given traffic citations and had accidents. Older people with ADHD had double the chance of an accident or to receive a ticket when compared to people in their age range without it.

For those with ADHD, hard braking was 7% higher, there was a 74% greater chance of being in a self-reported accident and a 102% spike in traffic tickets. The drivers who were studied ranged in age from 65 to 79. They were part of a project to assess older drivers in a broad manner.

Given the number of elderly drivers who are currently on the road and this sample size, it is reasonable to assume that a substantial number of older drivers are dealing with ADHD and putting others in jeopardy because of it.

Previously unknown factors can be crucial after an auto accident

Those who have been injured or lost a loved one in an auto accident with an elderly person need to consider whether ADHD might have contributed to it. This can be important when thinking about what steps to take in the aftermath.


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