From December 5th to 11th, Older Driver Safety Awareness Week draws attention to the steps families can take to ensure their parents are safe drivers. Looking at some of the facts regarding older drivers can help you better understand the pros and cons of allowing your parents to continue driving.
Around 30 Million Drivers Are 70 or Older
According to the Federal Highway Administration, around 30 million drivers are 70 or older. At the same time, crashes with older drivers are more likely to result in severe or fatal injuries. Much of this comes down to underlying health issues, such as bone strength allowing bones to fracture easily.
Crash Rates Are Declining
While accidents are more likely to lead to severe injuries, crash rates are declining in older adults. This comes down to enhanced safety features in cars. Many of today’s cars have backup cameras, self-parking, front-end collision warning, braking assist, and blind-spot indicators.
Right-of-Way Errors Are the Most Common Cause of Crashes With Older Drivers
Failing to yield right-of-way correctly causes the most errors among older drivers. It often comes down to not checking blind spots thoroughly or incorrectly judging the distance or space between cars.
Some Common Health Conditions Impact Safe Driving
Research finds that older adults with arthritis or cognitive impairment are more likely to impact how well a person can drive. The good news is that older adults are also more likely to stop driving if they learn they have a health condition that can impact their driving ability.
Older Drivers Set Limits Regarding When to Drive
Studies find that older adults are embracing the habit of only driving in daylight. If your mom or dad feels safer only operating a car in the daytime, that’s normal. Make sure they have someone available to drive them if they need to go out early in the morning or after the sunset.
Medication Side Effects Can Impact Driving Skills
Some medications have side effects that make driving unsafe. If your parents’ prescriptions cause drowsiness or nausea, they shouldn’t drive until the side effects pass. Sometimes, they shouldn’t drive at all. This increases the need for transportation services from an elder care agency.
Transportation Services Enhance Safety
Every driver is different. If you believe it’s time for your mom or dad to hand over the keys, make sure they know they still enjoy their freedom. With elder care transportation services, they’ll have a caregiver to drive them around. Talk to an elder care specialist to learn more.