Learn the challenges that may keep older adults off the road and find tips for staying safe behind the wheel
According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers in their mid- to late-80s have lower overall crash rates than drivers in their early 20s and roughly half as many crashes as teenagers—making them among the safest drivers on the road.
However, fatal crash rates skyrocket for drivers ages 85 and older. In “The Guide to Driving Safety for Older Drivers” from MySilverAge.com, Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research in Washington, D.C., says it’s important to understand what health factors can compromise safe driving. If senior drivers have ongoing limitations that could put them or their passengers at risk, they may want to reconsider their capacity to continue driving.
Older drivers should evaluate how the following factors affect their driving ability:
- Vision. How well a driver can see accounts for about 90 percent of his or her ability to drive safely. Weak visual aptitude can be measured by an inability to read signs, street markings, or to see other cars and pedestrians in low-light conditions.
- Mobility. Loss of strength, coordination and flexibility can make it challenging to control a vehicle. Mobility difficulties may also be signaled by pain and discomfort performing daily activities as well as arthritis in the neck and shoulders.
- Behavior. Trouble remembering familiar routes, anxiety or confusion while driving, or problems distinguishing the gas from the brake pedal are causes for immediate concern.
For a complete list of driving safety tips, including information on driver improvement courses, new driving technologies and alternate modes of transportation, download the driving guide for seniors.
MySilverAge is a website and online resource center, brought to you by be.group, that is designed to help seniors enjoy “what’s next.” MySilverAge brings together thought leaders on the subject of successful aging, leading intelligence on healthy aging and senior living, and expert tips and advice for creating the home, community and relationships in which seniors can thrive.
As one of California’s largest nonprofit providers of senior living communities, be.group is committed to creating communities and services that make the lives of older adults more fulfilling. be.group’s dedicated, well-trained staff is devoted to helping its residents and clients discover new ways to embrace life’s possibilities and new options for exploring their potential. Follow @begroupliving on Twitter.