FLORHAM PARK–According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in five people will be at least 65 years old by 2030, with nearly 10 million people 85 years old or older. An estimated 90 percent of this demographic will be licensed to drive, with many families facing an uncomfortable discussion about an older adult’s ability to drive. In support of next week’s Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, AAA urges seniors and their families to take the first step in addressing this difficult issue by having a conversation about driving and aging.
“The fastest growing segment of the country’s population is people who are age 65 and older,” said Cathleen Lewis, director of Public Affairs for the Florham Park-based AAA New Jersey Automobile Club. “The issue of senior driver safety and mobility touches millions of families. During Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, AAA encourages families to have a conversation about safe mobility to address any real and perceived challenges associated with driving and aging.”
AAA’s senior driver safety and mobility website, AAASeniors.com, provides expert advice and research-based tools for seniors and their families, many of whom have expressed frustration with the inability to locate the necessary resources to appropriately address the safety and mobility challenges often faced by older drivers. The information and tools on the site are designed to aid in prompting conversations, assessing abilities and improving the comfort and safety of older drivers.
Conversations about safe driving can evoke strong emotional reactions from some older drivers, as concerns about personal independence and managing other day-to-day activities may come into question. AAA encourages seniors and their families to approach these sensitive conversations as opportunities for constructive communication and problem solving.
To help manage the inevitable consequences of aging, and the effects of aging on driving ability, AAA also offers the following resources for older drivers:
- AAA Roadwise Review – a computer-based tool designed to assess a driver’s functional abilities important to safe driving.
- AAA’s Senior Expo – a one-day exhibition highlighting AAA’s senior mobility resources.
- CarFit – a non-challenging, non-intrusive personalized vehicle assessment to help enhance a mature driver’s safety and comfort while driving.
- Safe Driving for Mature Operators – classroom and online courses provide driver training to help address the changes caused by aging and how a driver may compensate.
For more information about Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, visit AAA.com/PublicAffairs.
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