December 2 to 6 is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. Given 18% of all traffic fatalities are people who are 65 years of age or older, it is important to learn about senior safety on the road
Changes Influencing Seniors on the Road
Given how experienced most of them are as drivers, it can be hard for seniors to accept there are safety concerns about their driving. It’s important for them to know this isn’t because they are “bad drivers.” Age-related changes that affect driving for seniors include:
- Limited vision or hearing
- Decreased reaction time, judgment, or attention due to health conditions
- Weakness when operating a steering wheel, brakes, etc.
- Memory loss that leads to getting lost or confused
- Medications that impair judgment and reaction times
Night-time driving exacerbates the effects of these changes on senior safety as well.
Increasing Driver Safety for Seniors
Encourage seniors to increase their safety on the road with these tips.
- Stay active to maintain flexibility and strength
- Make sure brakes, steering wheel, and seats function smoothly
- Drive at times of day with good visibility
- Keep up to date on vision and hearing checks
- Use adaptors like extra mirrors