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Vision-related safety concerns with older drivers in New Jersey

In today's society, demographics are changing, and there are countless Americans surviving into old age, both here in New Jersey and across the country. With this aging population comes safety concerns regarding older drivers with whom many of us share the road every day. Unfortunately, car accidents can be caused by a variety of factors but it's not unusual to hear of one -- or to be involved in one -- caused by deficiencies in an aging driver, particularly that person's ability to see and notice what's going on around them.

According to the National Institute on Aging, one of the primary concerns with older drivers is their vision. As we age, it can become more difficult to see and notice things out of one's direct line of sight. In addition, it may be noticeably tougher in general to see just about anything during the nighttime. More aging-related vision changes include more time needed to read traffic signs, being more easily "blinded" by glare from oncoming lights or having trouble recognizing familiar areas. Finally, with age comes more possibility for certain serious vision problems such as glaucoma or macular degeneration.

The Institute recommends that those who are age 65 or older should see their eye doctor at least every two years. Fortunately, advances have made it possible for many vision problems to be corrected. For instance, nowadays some cataracts can be removed with a surgical procedure. For those who need glasses, it's important to make sure one's vision prescription is up-to-date and that glasses are always worn when driving. Finally, if at all possible, those who have trouble seeing at night may need to avoid nighttime driving altogether in order to keep themselves and others safe.

Aging is a part of life, one that can be managed properly if the right precautions are taken. Auto accidents caused by drivers of any age can prove harmful, but some drivers may need to be more proactive regarding their own abilities and deficiencies. Those who have been struck by an older driver, or a negligent driver at any stage of life, may find peace of mind by talking with a New Jersey auto accident attorney.

Source: National Institute on Aging, "Older Drivers," accessed April 23, 2016

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