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older drivers dying

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  • Todd J. Binkley
    The danger to old folks who drive or merely RIDE in cars, is beginning to get more attention: Auto Makers Retool to Fit an Aging U.S.
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 1, 2000
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      The danger to old folks who drive or merely RIDE in cars, is beginning
      to get more attention:

      Auto Makers Retool to Fit an Aging U.S.
      http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/20000731/t000071754.html
      (This link is only good for seven days. If you would like the whole
      article after August 6th, just ask...I've saved it.)

      Some exerpts:

      Deaths of Older Drivers May Double
      The number of licensed drivers age 70 or older is expected to increase
      more than 60%, to about 31 million, by 2020. In the same period, some
      analysts project that deaths among drivers 65 and older will double,
      from an estimated 5,232 this year to an estimated 10,363 in 2020. Auto
      crashes already are the most common reason, exceeding even falls, for
      elderly people to be transported to trauma centers...

      ...(Dr.) Wang became interested in elderly crash victims because they
      were turning up in growing numbers in his intensive care unit at the
      University of Michigan hospital. "As a trauma surgeon, I was just seeing
      so many of these patients coming in--and they were very challenging to
      take care of."...

      ...Analyzing the cases, they found that drivers and passengers age 60
      and older were more than twice as likely to be killed in accidents as
      other adults. Even in moderate crashes, the elderly were in greater
      danger of being seriously injured or killed...

      ..."A rib fracture in a younger adult hurts like heck, and you can't
      breathe as deeply, but it's not a big deal," Wang said. However, "the
      elderly have very little tolerance for setbacks, and things tend to
      snowball. They don't have the lung capacity. If they break a couple of
      ribs, they can wind up on a ventilator, get pneumonia and end up
      dying..."

      ...In a 1999 crash in Michigan, an 83-year-old man made a left turn at
      an intersection and crashed his 1997 Ford Escort station wagon head-on
      into a Chevrolet Cavalier traveling in the opposite direction. The
      elderly driver only scraped his right hand in the 20 mph collision.
      But his female passenger, a 79-year-old retired auto engineer, was badly
      hurt, even though she was wearing her seat belt. She
      already suffered from back problems and had been injured in a previous
      crash. This time, she broke three ribs, a vertebra in her neck, her left
      kneecap and a leg bone below it. Discharged after more than a week in
      the hospital, she was soon back with fluid in her lungs.
      Her granddaughter took a month off from work to care for her at home,
      but family members told doctors that they were troubled by the patient's
      "failure to thrive." Two months after the crash, the woman was
      complaining of memory loss and her injured knee had become infected.
      Augenstein, the Miami doctor, said that a crash does not have to be
      catastrophic to cause an older person's world to unravel. "With a little
      bit of trauma in the elderly, you can go from being an active,
      well-functioning person to being a nonfunctioning person. Once somebody
      is disabled in their late 70s and 80s, their ability to return to where
      they were before is very poor."
    • Mike Lacey
      ... Another excerpt: Safety experts and auto makers alike are raising concerns that protecting the brittle bones of America s growing elderly population is the
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 1, 2000
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        Todd posted this:
        > Auto Makers Retool to Fit an Aging U.S.
        > http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/20000731/t000071754.html

        Another excerpt:
        Safety experts and auto makers alike are raising concerns that
        protecting the brittle bones of America's growing elderly population
        is the greatest challenge of the next 20 years for the industry.

        Mike writes:
        We already have a safe vehichle for the elderly or infirm. Its called
        a bus.

        Mike
      • Michael Schramm
        ... beginning ... This is certainly very tragic news but also not at all surprising given the recent forum posts on the issue of cars and the aging of U.S.
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 1, 2000
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          --- In carfree_cities@egroups.com, "Todd J. Binkley" <tjbink@b...>
          wrote:
          > The danger to old folks who drive or merely RIDE in cars, is
          beginning
          > to get more attention:
          >
          > Auto Makers Retool to Fit an Aging U.S.
          > http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/20000731/t000071754.html
          > (This link is only good for seven days. If you would like the whole
          > article after August 6th, just ask...I've saved it.)


          This is certainly very tragic news but also not at all surprising
          given the recent forum posts on the issue of cars and the aging
          of U.S. drivers. It's unfortunate too that a large share of the
          elderly auto accident victims are dying as a result of trauma imposed
          on their "brittle bones". Unfortunately, this is all too often the
          result of the sedentary nature of many Americans, especially those
          with meat and dairy centered diets. This is not excuse the mistakes
          and oversights by auto and highway lobbies who have forced the elderly
          into an autocentric culture but it does point out that one social
          malady (which is also costing the U.S. billions) often aggravates and
          surmounts another. The automobile has made so many of us obese and
          osteoporotic, heightening vulneribility to trauma wrought from what is
          easily the most dangerous form of personal transportation; a very
          insidious cycle.

          Michael Schramm
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