Everyone ages differently and where some
people are perfectly capable of continuing to drive
in their seventies, eighties, and even beyond; many
elders, however, are at higher risk for on or off road
crashes. According to studies conducted by the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) senior
drivers are more likely to receive traffic citations
for failing to yield, turning improperly, and running
red lights and stop signs - an indication of decreased
driving ability. A person 65 or older who is involved
in a car crash is more likely to be seriously injured,
more likely to require hospitalization, and more likely
to die than younger people involved in the same crash.
In particular, fatal crash rates rise sharply after
a driver has reached the age of 70.
How should you prepare to start the conversation with an older driver? Here is helpful information provided by The Hartford Financial Services Group on how and when to help someone through this often difficult decision making process.
PLAN: Before you begin driving, plan your route, make sure your car is properly prepared and make alternate transportation arrangements when appropriate.
SCAN: Pay close attention to what is happening all around you. Look and listen for situations that may require you to react quickly.
THINK: Consider how safety will be affected by what you have seen or heard.
DECIDE: Decide how to handle the situation so you feel in control.
ACT: Apply good judgement to eliminate unsafe acts and unsafe conditions.