It is estimated that by 2020 more than 40 million older Americans will be licensed drivers. Older drivers, especially those 75 and above, are more likely to suffer severe injuries or death when involved in a motor vehicle crash. For this reason, it is very important that all drivers are educated on the importance of safe mobility for older adults, as well as the effects of aging on driving. This extensive report produced in collaboration with the American Society on Aging (ASA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration examines the unique issues related to older drivers, focuses on who can play a role in older driver safety, and advocates for public information events that seek to educate older drivers, their families, and other community members on older driver safety.
Vision issues, physical functions, and changes in cognitive abilities that often come with the aging process have a significant impact on older drivers’ ability to safely and independently operate a motor vehicle. This report examines specific physical and cognitive conditions that may limit the independence of older drivers. Tables featured in the report list the specific health condition, its effect on driving, risk factors for developing the condition, and the crash risk of each condition.
Supplemental materials are provided in this report to help communities promote programs that will encourage older driver safety activities. These materials include a myth and fact quiz, printable certificates for older drivers who participate in the programs, and a vision matching game, among other things.
Family members, volunteers, older adult service providers, religious organizations, departments of motor vehicles, and transportation and safety organizations can play in important role in advocating for driving wellness activities to educate older drivers.
How to Use
This comprehensive report is a call to action for all community members who can play a role in older driver safety. The report provides materials to assist individuals and organizations working to educate older drivers on aging and safe driving. Use the guides, handouts, and other supplemental materials featured in this report to coordinate education programs among older drivers in your community.