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Why do driving abilities change in old age?

Noting that the use of drugs, multiple chronic diseases and loss of self-confidence as well as the normal changes that come with old age, Gerontologist F. Sıla Ayan said: “It is known that the elderly can have problems while changing lanes, traffic, brake-gas balance, follow-up distance and attention level. These changes are vital in assessing the driving abilities of the elderly.”

Why do driving abilities change in old age?

“OLD-FRIENDLY TRANSPORTATION OPPORTUNITIES MUST BE IMPROVED”

Stating that the elderly are perceived as novice drivers driving at low mileage and only in health related emergencies, Gerontologist from Istanbul Gelişim University Lect. F. Sıla Ayan said: “However, they are more vulnerable and more easily injured in case of an accident. After the ability to drive a suitable vehicle is lost, according to the data of the USA, considering that men 6 women live 10 more years, we see that our traffic rules, the vehicles we produce or our age-friendly transportation opportunities should be improved.”
 
“64 PERCENT OF DEADLY ACCIDENTS ARE SEEN WHERE THERE ARE NO CROSSROADS”
 
Stating that isolation was seen in the elderly after the dropping of driving and pathologies related to this situation developed, Gerontologist F. Sıla Ayan said: “Elderly people who cannot drive mostly prefer walking path. On the other hand, individuals who carry out transportation by walking have 64 percent fatal accidents in places where there are no crossroads. It is unrealistic to expect that habits that do not develop at a young age in bicycle use and communities that are not designed accordingly will change in old age.”
 
“DEMENTIA PATIENTS ARE MOSTLY LOST WHILE DRIVING”
 
Stating that special transportation cards and local practices are not enough, Ayan said, “Being unable to organize different service models for the elderly is pushing them to solve their problems on an individual scale. According to the data of the USA, dementia patients continue to use vehicles until 3-4 years after their diagnosis and the risk of accidents is two times higher in this mass compared to healthy elderly people. Most elderly people with dementia are lost while driving, and this often results in fatal accidents.”

Speaking about the evaluation of the driving abilities of the elderly, Ayan said: “Although there is no specific regulation in our country, official driving evaluations used in the USA and many countries in Europe generally take 45 - 60 minutes and 5 types of advice are given to the people as a result of driving tests in closed and open environments, such as:
 
1. Driving without restrictions
2. Driving with some restrictions (day and night, speed, duration etc.)
3. Driving with regular checks in the presence of progressive disease
4. Stop driving
5. Getting alternative travel assistance

In the end Ayan finishing her words, said: “In our country, a national system can be developed based on these methods.”
 

Edited date: 09.07.2020
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