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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Vital Signs: Emergency Department and Older Adult Motor Vehicle Collisions: Prevention is Paramount


In 2009, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported there were 33 million licensed drivers 65 years and older in the U.S. This represents a 23 percent increase from 1999, number that is predicted to double by 2030. Although, motor vehicle collisions (MVC)-related to emergency department (ED) visits for older adults are lower per capita than for younger adults, the older-adults MVCs require more resources, such as additional diagnostic imaging and increased odds of admission. Addressing the specific needs of older-adults could lead to better outcomes yet not enough research currently exists. It is important to continue training emergency physicians to treat the increasing older-patient population, but its also imperative we increase our injury prevention and screening methodology. We review research findings from the article: Emergency Department Visits by Older Adults for Motor Vehicle Collisions: A Five-year national study, with commentary on current recommendation and policies for the growing older-adult driving population. [West J Emerg Med.2013;14(6):582–584.]

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