Older Driver Safety Awareness Week

10 Dec 2018

Last week, December 3 – 7, 2018, was Older Driver Safety Week, but it’s important to explore the lessons described in the campaign throughout the year and revisit them frequently. Older driver safety week is set aside to promote greater understanding of the importance of mobility and transportation to aging adults and the safety challenges they face.

The goal of keeping all people safe on the roads is one the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) takes seriously. This includes older drivers and others who may be impacted when they get behind the wheel. The NHTSA seeks to educate drivers about the issues that tend to affect older drivers with greater frequency than other drivers on the road, such as:

  • Medical conditions
  • Diminished vision
  • Tremors
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Medication side effects (prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs)
  • Memory issues

Because of these risks and challenges for aging drivers, families are encouraged to create a “transportation plan” that addresses these safety concerns and keeps them mobile, so they can remain active in their communities while maintaining their independence.

Tools that Promote Safety with Older Drivers

The key, according to the NHTSA, is to encourage aging adults to continue driving for themselves as long as they are safely able to continue doing so. Many cars offer driver assisting technology to help in the effort to keep adults of all ages safer on the roads.  Combine that with adapted benefits that have been designed specifically to address certain needs aging adults have with driving and there are many more aging adults on the roads today than ever before.

Another tool to consider that offers invaluable benefits to older drivers is GPS tracking. A GPS elderly tracking not only can help avoid confusion associated with memory issues, but it can also give families peace of mind when their aging loved ones are on the road. GPS tracking can be used to send reports about driving behaviors (speeding, swerving, hard braking, etc.). It can also be used to track the exact location of your loved one if he or she becomes disoriented or lost.

People over the age of 65 account for 16 percent of all currently licensed drivers in the U.S. By 2040, people over the age of 70 will make up approximately 20 percent of the population. That means there are likely to be even more drivers over the age of 65 by then. The better we understand driver safety for older drivers today the better – for all-around driver safety.

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