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Car accident: Senior drivers on medication may be at risk

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety provides a free online tool that is designed to inform drivers in Illinois and other states about the effect medication can have on their driving ability. Those with medical conditions are at increased risk of causing a car accident risk for drivers. In many cases, it is the medication that causes the danger. Some people develop chronic conditions as they age, and many fail to consider how that impact their driving.

A number of older drivers suffer from sleep disorders, impaired vision, diabetes, dementia, seizures and physical limitations. Doctors typically prescribe medications for these conditions. By working closely with a physician in monitoring the medication, drivers may continue to drive safely in many instances.

The increased use and availability of over-the-counter medications may create unknown risks. Some medications can affect alertness or otherwise affect a person's ability to safely operate a vehicle. Warnings may not appear on the medication packaging or patients may fail to read the warnings that are included. Further, those who suffer different ailments may unknowingly combine different medications that can cause serious reactions.

If a car accident in Illinois is caused by a driver under the influence of medication, and it results in personal injuries suffered by another person, the victim may pursue claims for financial relief through the civil justice system. A personal injury claim may be filed, and once negligence is established, the court will adjudicate documented claims for financial losses. Once damages are proved, a monetary judgment may be entered. 

Source: seniordriving.aaa.com, "Medical Conditions & Medications", June 26, 2016

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