According to the findings of a 2004 study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers over the age of 65 are almost twice as likely to die in car crashes as drivers age 55 to 64.This age group is second only to teen drivers in terms of their likelihood to sustain injury of death in a crash.The report further revealed that drivers over 75 were over two-and-a-half times as likely to die in a car crash and drivers over 85 were almost four times as likely to die when compared to drivers aged 55 to 64.The safety of senior drivers is a growing concern.
Unlike teen drivers, whose driving skills improve with experience and maturity, the skills of senior drivers typically deteriorate over time. Eyesight diminishes and reaction times slow.Conditions such as arthritis can limit mobility. Perhaps worst of all, cognitive skills can fail. To maintain safe driving, it is recommended that seniors:
Have regular vision and hearing examinations.
Always wear any prescribed vision correction or hearing aids.
Give themselves time to adjust to new eyeglasses and have them checked periodically.
Use medication correctly, know how it could affect driving, and ensure they are free from any possible harmful effects before driving. With some medicines, you may not be able to drive at all.
Finally, seniors should routinely and objectively review their driving performance with their families and, once skills drop significantly, agree that the car keys should be put away for good.