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Older Drivers — Stay Safe on the Road

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Photo: A senior man driving.Driving helps older adults stay mobile and independent. But the risk of being injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash increases as you age. Learn about older drivers' risks on the road and steps you can take to protect yourself or someone you care about.

 

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:

Online tools are available to help you assess your driving knowledge and skills. Some helpful resources include:

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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