by Dawn Kepler, Project Administrator
Older adults (age 65 and up) comprise just under 20% of all drivers licensed in Michigan, and this number is projected to increase. Similarly, recent Michigan vehicle crash data reveals that older adult crashes are also increasing, up to 45,864 in 2015 from 36,997 in 2006. Older drivers were more likely than other age groups to engage in the following crash related driving behaviors: “…failure to yield, disregard of traffic control, improper lane use, improper turn, and improper backing…”
Driving is an important factor in people’s ability to maintain independence and age in place. Below are 7 simple tips for older drivers to remain safe on the roads:
- Avoid driving at night, if you have difficulties seeing in low light conditions.
- Steer clear of high traffic times and locations.
- Stick to familiar areas and roads, mapping out your route when driving to unfamiliar locations.
- Avoid fast-moving driving, particularly highways.
- Stay away from driving during bad weather.
- Bring along a friend for the drive.
- Turn over the wheel to someone else when facing driving conditions you are not comfortable with.
Assistance can be provided by family, friends, health professionals and others to ensure safe and reliable mobility throughout an aging driver’s lifespan. Resources on lifelong mobility are available at the Safe Drivers, Smart Options website.