PORTLAND, Ore. – One in five elderly drivers is taking medication that can increase their risk of crashing by up to 300 percent, according to a AAA study.
The study, released Wednesday, found that nearly half of all older adults say they are using seven or more medications and are still active drivers.
There are a record 42 million drivers age 65 or older on U.S. roads, and the number is expected to grow substantially over the next decade, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said.
According to the research, 20 percent of those elderly drivers are using medications that could cause effects like “blurred vision, confusion, fatigue or incoodination.”
“There is a growing number of older drivers who use multiple medications and likely do not realize the impact these prescriptions may have on their driving,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “This new research shows that the more medications an older driver takes, the more likely they are to use an inappropriate medication that can potentially cause driving impairment.”
AAA said it urges older drivers and their family members to understand the effects of their prescriptions before getting behind the wheel. They have a free online tool to help people understand the side effects of medications.
If you are a senior who would like to find alternative transportation, AAA has several resources for you.