Older driver safety awareness week exhorts families to plan in advance


29Seniors constitute the fastest growing part of the population. Apart from teenagers they are also at the greatest risk of meeting with an accident and being killed while they are behind the wheel. AAA is offering information and tools to assist seniors as well as their families to plan ahead, on the eve of the Older Driver Safety Awareness Week kicking off. AAA is a specialist insurance company at coverage for floods, home insurance, life, rental and car insurance and various other personal umbrella policies.

According to an AAA spokesperson from Northern California, the issue of ensuring safety of older drivers continues to touch millions of families. This event is a chance to initiate a conversation about safe mobility with older members of the family, evaluating challenges, some perceived and some real along with looking at the association between aging and driving.

As per the latest reports of the US Census Bureau, 1/5th of the population will be at least 65 years old by 2030. The same year, the population of people who are 85 years old or more would touch 10 million. About 90% of both of these above groups will have a license to drive. Therefore, in the event of a crash, seniors are more vulnerable towards succumbing to injury or getting killed because of their frailties. This is also the reason why seniors amongst all age groups have the highest rate of crash deaths per mile, with the exception of teenagers.

These conversations about driving safely evoke strong emotions amongst some families and especially older drivers. It also brings concerns about personal freedom along with managing their daily tasks. AAA advises seniors to hold constructive communication with their family members and solve the problems around sensitive discussions. There are quite a few tools that could prove helpful. The AAA roadside review is one such tool which is designed to assess the functional abilities of a driver to test safe driving behaviour. Another tool called Smart features for Mature Drivers checks the comfort of the seniors while driving and the relative safety. There is a course called Online Mature Driver which will help the older drivers in avoiding traffic violations and thereby collisions too. This course will also help seniors get discounts on their insurance rates. Another tool called DriveSharp is also effective in helping drivers in reducing the collision risk they face while driving.