Driver safety is an important and often sensitive issue for seniors. The changes of normal aging can sometimes interfere with the ability to drive. Learn to reduce these risk factors. Drive safely longer by taking care of your health and incorporating safe driving practices. However, safety must come first. If you need to reduce your driving or eventually give up the keys, it doesn’t mean the end of your independence. With help from family, friends, community resources, a positive outlook, and personal action, you can remain mobile without driving.

Facts about driving and aging

Everyone ages differently, so some people can continue to drive into their seventies, eighties, and even beyond while others cannot or should not. However, the statistics on older adults and driving can be sobering.

Older adults and accidents

Statistics show that the elderly are more likely than other drivers to receive traffic citations for failing to yield, turning improperly, and running red lights and stop signs—all indications of decreased driving ability. It is a fact that older adults are at higher risk for road accidents than other age groups. Older drivers are more likely to get into multiple-vehicle accidents than younger people do, and the accidents are more dangerous for them than for younger drivers. A person 65 or older who is involved in a car accident is more likely to be seriously hurt, more likely to require hospitalization, and more likely to die than younger people involved in the same crash. Truth is, fatal crash rates rise sharply after a driver has reached the age of 70.

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