The findings, released today by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, indicate that 95 percent of those age 55 and older have one or more medical conditions, 78 percent take one or more medications, and only 28 percent have an awareness of the risks those medications might have on driving ability.
The researchers surveyed 630 drivers ages 56 to 93. Only 18 percent reported receiving a warning from a health-care professional about potential driver-impairing (PDI) medications such as ACE inhibitors, sedatives and beta-blockers. The study found that such warnings do not increase with increasing numbers of medications used or increasing numbers of medical conditions.
"These findings indicate that health-care professionals need to take a more active role in educating their patients about the risks of PDI medications," said Paul MacLennan, Ph.D., assistant professor of surgery at UAB and the study's lead author. "Society needs to understand that PDI medications are a driving-safety issue, and there is a need for increased education geared at older drivers, their families and health professionals."
Studies have shown that certain medications are known to be associated with an increased risk for vehicle collision, according to MacLennan. Among survey respondents age 75 and older, 77 percent said they had no awareness of the risks presented from PDI medication and had not received any information on risk from health-care providers. Yet this group was most likely to have multiple medical conditions and be taking multiple medications.
"Increased knowledge and awareness by health professionals will enable them to offer suggestion on how older drivers can modify their behavior to reduce risks, such as reducing driving or increasing self-monitoring of PDI side-effects," said MacLennan. "Increased patient education by pharmacists also is a key component to addressing PDI medications and has been shown effective in increasing patient knowledge of medications."
MacLennan's collaborators on this study include Gerald McGwin, Ph.D., director of research for the UAB Center for Injury Sciences; Cynthia Owsley, Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology; and Loring Rue, M.D., chief of the section of trauma, burns and surgical critical care. Funding for the study came from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
About the Center for Injury Sciences
The Center for Injury Sciences (CIS) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) was established in 1999 and provides a multidisciplinary focus for research related to both the prevention and treatment of injuries. Much of the center's emphasis is on motor-vehicle collisions, the largest component of all injury events in Alabama.
About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is dedicated to saving lives and reducing injuries on the roads. It is a not-for-profit, publicly supported charitable educational and research organization. Since 1947, the foundation has funded more than 170 research projects designed to discover the causes of traffic crashes, prevent them and minimize injuries when they do occur.
Bob Shepard | EurekAlert!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.
Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
08.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.03.2018 | Life Sciences