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Senior citizens can suffer dearly in car accidents

In recent decades, people are living longer than ever. Improvements in lifestyle and healthcare allow many people to maintain full and active lifestyles into their 70s, 80s and even 90s. These later stages of life are often full, rich and rewarding years. After working hard for a lifetime, individuals deserve the opportunity to relax and enjoy the company of their children and grandchildren.

In some cases senior citizens are fully capable of continuing to drive well into advanced age, other times issues with vision or other factors lead to a decision for seniors to stop driving themselves and allow other to help them get from place to place. Unfortunately, whether as a passenger or a driver, anytime a senior citizen is on the road there is risk of being involved in a car accident. Even while still in relatively good health, traumatic injuries suffered in a car accident can be especially dangerous for seniors.

Many seniors may have underlying health factors that, while mostly benign on a daily basis, can make recovery from injuries sustained in a car accident much more difficult. Osteoporosis can lead to broken bones, even when the collision was not exceptionally powerful. A broken arm or, even more serious, a broken hip may severely impact an elderly person's ability to engage in daily activities and take care of themselves.

Of course, the risk of being in a serious car accident should not dissuade senior citizens from staying active. But it is wise to take reasonable precautions, and maybe younger drivers can be encouraged to be a little more deferential to senior drivers to help everyone stay safe.

Source: The Flint Journal "One woman in critical condition following two-car crash in Lapeer County's Attica Township," Roberto Acosta, Dec. 20, 2011

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