With older adults making up the fastest growing population segment, the question of safe driving age is confronting many families. New rules in some states require in-person driver’s licence renewal for older adults of a specific age (e.g., 75 or 80). This policy has been shown to help reduce the crash fatality rates among drivers 85 and older.
Indeed, the ability to drive is a source of independence. Without access to driving, loneliness and the negative health impacts may increase. But when it comes to road safety, statistics show that both the youngest and oldest drivers among us are most at risk of being involved in motor vehicle accidents. Here’s an excerpt from a recent article from McMaster’s Optimal Aging portal that dives into the subject.
No one can deny that the ability to drive is a source of independence whether you are 17 or 80, and can contribute significantly to your quality of life. But when it comes to road safety, statistics show that both the youngest and oldest drivers among us are most at risk of being involved in motor vehicle accidents.
And with the 65+ age group being the fastest growing segment of the population, the number of older drivers on the road is also increasing rapidly. As we grow older, we are increasingly at risk of developing a health condition that can affect our driving ability. For instance, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) notes that:
– over the years our pupils get smaller and can affect our ability to drive safely;
– hearing loss can affect our ability to react to our surroundings; and
– diminishing motor skills can affect reaction time (1).
There are many other more specific declines in health that seniors are at risk for that can affect the ability to drive, such as arthritis, strokes, heart conditions and cognitive conditions like dementia.
HiLois Can Help Older Adults Stay Connected, Simply and Easily
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Have a family member who is lonely or disconnected and looking for a creative way to stay in touch? All early reviewers who download in March of 2018 will have free lifetime usage. Download the HiLois app for seniors and social isolation today. (Offer ends: March 30, 2018)
Tom Tressler is the director of customer development for HiLois. He has a rich background in healthcare and technology. He covers health, technology and healthy aging news for the HiLois blog.