Lowering accident risks for older drivers continues to be a major challenge for Indiana transportation agencies as the number of such motorists in the state increases. A new study finds that better vision through cataract surgery can help reduce those risks.
The Canadian study found that accident rates for more than half a million drivers actually dropped after the drivers underwent a required cataract surgery. The decline was a fairly modest one of about 9%, but it does establish that improved vision as the result of a cataract surgery can help decrease driving risks. Cataract surgery also seemed to substantially reduce accident risks among older drivers. Accident rates dropped by as much as 14%, among drivers above the age of 70. Overall, the researchers estimate that one accident can be prevented for every 5000 cataract surgeries that are performed.
The results of the study aren’t so surprising to understand. A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye and is a common occurrence among people above the age of 40. It is also one of the major causes of blindness around the world. Cataract surgeries are typically performed to reduce symptoms like blurred vision, glare, hypersensitivity to light, dim vision, and night vision problems. All of these can severely disrupt a senior motorist’s ability to drive without any problems. Persons who suffer from a cataract will find that their world is foggy and blurry, impacting vision. Persons who suffer from blurred vision are much more likely to fall, injuring themselves. They are also more likely to be involved in accidents.
Early symptoms of cataract may be corrected by using glasses. However, when symptoms worsen, there may be no other option, but surgery which will involve removal of the cloudy lens and replacement with an artificial lens. Fortunately, most types of cataracts are treatable through surgery.
If you are an older driver, making sure that you are in optimum health is key. That includes optimum visual health. Make sure that you get an eye exam every year, and if you have vision problems, get yourself fitted with prescription glasses. If you have begun to find it difficult to drive in poor visibility, nighttime or during poor weather, avoid driving in such conditions altogether.
The Indianapolis auto accident lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy, LLP represent persons injured as a result of accidents across Indiana.