2023-11-27 Most Elderly Drivers Unaware of Medication Impact on Driving, Study Shows - autoevolution

Most Elderly Drivers Unaware of Medication Impact on Driving, Study Shows

According to a recent study published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 78 percent of the participants aged 55 and older use one or more medication, yet only 28 percent have indicated some awareness of the potentially dangerous combination of medications and driving.

Moreover, only 18 percent of the respondents received a warning about potentially driver impairing medications from a healthcare professional. However, unlike some think, the study also found that such warnings do not increase with increasing numbers of medications, as the use of a single potentially driver impairing medication as well as use of multiple medications increases the risk of being in a crash.

"Health care professionals need to educate patients about their potentially driver impairing medications to help them make safe driving decisions," said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger in a statement for the press. "One of our goals is to help older drivers stay mobile as long as safely possible; so, it is imperative that we do a better job of educating drivers on known risks, such as the side-effects of medications."

The study’s age range was from 56 to 93 and the level of awareness decreased with age, while the number of prescription medications people were taking increased. According to the AAA, the number of elderly drivers is expected to increase by more than 50 percent by 2030, so this is a matter that needs urgent measures taken to increase awareness about medications that can impact safe driving.
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