Elderly avoid discussing driving skills

first_img @tagline: From Staff and Wire Reports 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Many older patients are reluctant to discuss with their doctors their ability to drive safely, even though they talk about other details of their health, an Auto Club survey released Tuesday found. The survey revealed that older patients rarely ask about their ability to continue driving safely during medical consultations, even though older drivers have a much higher risk of crashes and are more likely to die when in a crash than people in other age groups, said Carol Thorp of the Auto Club. The online survey of medical professionals was conducted as part of National Bone and Joint Awareness Week, which began last Wednesday and ends Thursday. Ninety percent of the 1,030 doctors and nurses who responded to the questionnaire reported that fewer than 25 percent of their older patients had ever asked about their ability to remain behind the wheel safely. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week And 51 percent said none of their older patients ever broached the subject. Despite the apparent hesitancy of seniors to talk about their driving ability, the overwhelming majority of doctors and nurses surveyed – 84 percent – said they believe hospitals and doctors’ offices should provide motor vehicle injury prevention information to their elderly patients. And while nearly 80 percent of respondents thought patient education about traffic safety is “very or somewhat effective,’ only 23 percent reported that their healthcare facility provided such information. “This survey highlights the important, but often neglected, connection between driving and health,’ Thorp said. “Car crashes are one of the top 10 causes of death for people of all ages and older people are especially vulnerable to death and injury when they are in a crash,’ Thorp said. “Doctors and nurses are respected sources of information, so patient education is vital in helping seniors drive safely.’ last_img