Driving Issues for Seniors

Jun 22nd, 2020 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Senior Citizens and Driving

Driving is not an issue seniors generally like to talk about. But there are times when it is prudent to take a look at the issue and deal with reality. The Center for Disease Control says, ” In 2017, almost 7,700 older adults (aged 65+) were killed in motor vehicle crashes, and more than 257,000 were treated in emergency departments for motor vehicle crash injuries.2¬†This means that each day, approximately 20 older adults are killed, and an additional 700 are injured in motor vehicle crashes.” These figures exceed the national average.

Driving keeps us mobile and independent, but the older we get, the higher the risk of injury. The CDC reports “Older drivers, particularly those aged 75+, have higher crash death rates than middle-aged drivers (aged 35-54).3¬†Higher crash death rates among this age group are primarily due to increased vulnerability to injury in a crash.” The CDC has a really valuable web page that talks about senior citizens and driving, and SCJ recommends every senior study the page to learn valuable tools and information to remain safe while driving.

When Should I Stop Driving?

The really salty issue for many (most?) seniors is when should I stop driving? While there is no hard and fast rule about this decision, there are factors every senior needs to consider:

**Are you keeping your body strong with regular exercise and good nutrition?

**Have you consulted your physician/opthalmalogist about your eyesight? How well do you see and does he/she agree your sight is good enough to drive?

**Do you plan your route before you drive?

**Do you always use your seat belt?

**Do you avoid driving at night? Driving in bad weather? Distractions in your car (music, cell phone, intense conversation with passenger(s), eating)?

SCJ recommends you talk with a trusted family member or friend and/or your physician about your driving and ask for their help in deciding when you should stop. Keeping the decision in your hands will help you deal with the implications of no longer driving.

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