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Can Computer Training for Elderly Drivers Prevent Car Accidents?

July 26, 2021

elderly drivers

A proof-of-concept study conducted by researchers at North Carolina State University suggests that computer training may provide safe driving benefits for older drivers. The study is the first step in making the low-cost training program widely available, which promises to make a positive difference in the driving habits of older adults. The results of the study were published in the Traffic Injury Prevention journal.

The training program, which is called Drive Aware, was developed to teach older drivers to notice and respond to common road hazards. The program is intended to be available to anyone with a computer. This is significant because training is known to improve driving and safety. Not everyone has access to in-person driver training or sophisticated technology-based driving programs. Researchers believe a more accessible option could reach many more drivers and prevent some car accidents.

The results of the study revealed that the participants who had received the Drive Aware training showed marked improvements in their abilities to detect road hazards. In fact, the participants in the active group exhibited 25 percent fewer unsafe incidents than they had in the initial simulator-based driving test. Unsafe incidents involved running into a pedestrian, crashing into another vehicle, driving off the road, and other common scenarios.

What Risks Do Older Drivers Encounter?

Older drivers are more likely to experience loss of hearing, diminished eyesight, and possible issues with mobility. These types of decline often have the effect of creating problems for drivers who are not as quick to detect people, vehicles, or obstructions in the road. Additionally, when senior drivers are in accidents, their injuries tend to be more serious and fatal. However, this has less to do with driving habits and more to do with older drivers being frailer and more vulnerable to injury.

Older drivers have more of a tendency to be involved in certain types of accidents as well. Accidents at intersections are more likely among older drivers compared to younger drivers. As a group, older drivers are particularly bad at yielding, receiving far more citations than their younger counterparts. In fact, it has been reported that failing to yield is one of the top driving errors made by senior drivers, according to an article posted in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Reports suggest that older drivers are often at fault in accidents for failing to look or for not recognizing a hazard, person, or another vehicle in the road. The North Carolina State study may provide a way to give senior drivers another chance to regain some of their driving prowess, which will make the roads safer in the process.

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Advise and Represent Individuals Who Have Been Injured in Auto Crashes

A new computerized training program may help older motorists become safer drivers. However, even with safety precautions and driver training, accidents can still happen. If you were hurt in a collision, speak to a dedicated Philadelphia car accident lawyer at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. today. We can inform you of your rights and fight on your behalf. Contact us online or call us at 215-569-9100 to schedule a free consultation. We are conveniently located in Philadelphia, and we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.