The Michigan Center for Advancing Safe Transportation throughout the Lifespan (M-CASTL), at the University of Michigan, publishes information about driver safety and education for older adults. In 2003, they began Promising Approaches for Promoting Lifelong Community Mobility, a web-based guide highlighting programs and practices in a number of areas considered to hold promise for enhancing the safety and mobility of older adults. Those areas include driver screening and assessment, driver education and training, roadway design, vehicle design and advanced technology, transitioning from driving to other transportation options, transportation coordination, and alternative transportation options.
This website is an information-rich comprehensive resource for anyone focused on older driver safety and education. In addition to providing overviews of current “best practices” in a range of areas, the site also provides direct link to relevant resources and information, including providing a searchable database of program summaries of dozens of key initiatives across the country.
The topic areas include:
- Driver Assessment – including promising programs screening older drivers.
- Education and Training – ranging from building self-awareness of physical limitations of older adults when it comes to driving, to training programs to improve their capability.
- Vehicle Design and Advanced Technology – including updates on intelligent transportation system (ITS) features and enhancements.
- Roadway Design – with design specifications accommodating older adults, and guidelines for key elements in road design.
- Mobility After Driving – with emphasis on making communities more livable for those without easy access to their own car.
- Transportation Coordination – including promising programs that are adaptable and meet the changing and personal needs of older adults.
- Alternative Transportation Options – with information about programs that successfully connect older adults with services and resources.
All detailed sections describe programs deemed to be “promising” and include links to programs that are working today.
How to Use
Local community planners and government officials can make use of this rich web resource when planning for transportation and mobility options for older adults in their communities. There are a plethora of promising programs that have components that can work elsewhere. This site is a good place to start when developing new ideas to help improve the overall mobility of older adults, while maintaining their safety.