Even drinking small amounts of alcohol could place a senior driver at a high risk of accidents, compared to younger motorists consuming the same amount of alcohol. That information comes from a new study which confirms that senior motorists may be at a much higher risk of having their driving abilities impacted, even when they have consumed just a few alcoholic beverages.
The results of the study were published recently in the Journal Psychopharmacology. The researchers compared two groups of drivers-one consisting of senior motorists in the 55-to-70 age category, and the other consisting of younger motorists in the 25-to-35 age category. They found that no driver in either group had drunk enough alcohol to place him above the .08% maximum legally permissible blood-alcohol level. However, when senior drivers drank even one alcoholic beverage, it affected their driving abilities considerably.
The results of the study are interesting, because there has been quite a bit of research into the effects of alcohol on teenage drivers and young motorists, but there hasn’t been enough literature on how alcohol affects a senior motorist’s driving abilities. This is even though senior motorists may already be at a much higher risk of impaired driving abilities as they begin to age. There may be age-relating concerns, like loss of balance, loss of coordination, judgment deficiencies, or delayed responses about age-related challenges that do affect a senior motorist’s ability to drive safely. When alcohol is being introduced into this equation, those driving challenges seem to magnify.
If you are a senior motorist in the above-55 age category, you must understand that even having one drink could impair your driving abilities enough to cause an accident.