By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It is definitely an area of controversy. We know that more elderly people are involved in traffic accidents, but researchers from Canada suggest that the higher number may be the result of factors that go beyond driving ability.
The researchers say some of this may be due to the fact that they are more likely to report, more likely to be in multi-car collisions due to driving on city streets instead of highways, and more likely to be injured due to frailty.
The researchers found that older people are more likely to die because of this frailty.
But there were disturbing facts that needed to be addressed as well. Twenty-five percent of Canadian patients with dementia still have a driver’s license and that 20% of those continue to drive regularly. The report also suggested that some measures that help teen drivers could help the elderly including the suggestion that elderly drivers may benefit from graduated driver’s licenses including night driving restrictions and restrictions on high-speed roadways.