Older Drivers — Stay Safe on the Road
What you should know:
- Every day, an average of 500 older adults (those ages 65 and older) are injured in a crash.
- In 2008, 4,600 older adults were killed in motor vehicle crashes.
- Motor vehicle crash deaths among both men and women begin to increase markedly after age 70.
- Age-related declines in vision and cognitive functioning (ability to reason and remember), as well as physical changes, may affect some older adults' driving abilities.
What you can do:
Driving plays an important role in many older adults' mobility and independence. If you are a driver age 65 or older, you can make your time behind the wheel safer by:
- Asking your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines (both prescription and over-the counter) to reduce possible side effects and drug interactions.
- Having your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year, and wearing your glasses and contact lenses as required.
- Planning your route before you drive.
- Leaving a large following distance behind the car in front of you.
- Avoiding distractions in your car, such as listening to a loud radio, talking on your cell phone, texting, and eating in the car.
- Thinking about potential alternatives to driving, such as riding with a friend or using public transit, that you could use to get around.
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