|As the population of drivers aged 65 and older continues to grow, maintaining safe mobility is important. Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, Dec. 4-8, encourages seniors and their families to assess age-related changes and how best to remain safe on the road or choose other kinds of transportation.
Older drivers are considered more susceptible to serious injury and death in a crash. In Kansas, 72 drivers aged 65-99 were involved in a fatal crash in 2022. Another 3,694 were involved in a serious injury or injury crash. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), more older drivers are in fatal crashes on rural roads versus urban roads.
“If you have an older driver in your family, consider having a positive and engaging conversation about driving,” said Chris Bortz, Transportation Safety Assistant Bureau Chief for the Kansas Department of Transportation. “These conversations should focus on their current driving behaviors and the resources that are available if they need to stop driving.”
KDOT and NHTSA recommend older drivers and their families work together to:
- Promote awareness of the impact aging has on driving.
- Understand how medical conditions and prescribed medications can impact physical fitness, reflexes and vision when driving.
- Discuss knowledge on new road designs such as round-abouts, diverging diamonds or other traffic flow changes along route.
- Plan trips during the day and when traffic is light.
- Work with older drivers to understand new vehicle technology such as lane departure, back up cameras and blind-spot detection.
- Make sure they correctly use headlights at night, and buckle up every trip, every time.
- Assist older drivers who may no longer be able to drive and help them plan for safe mobility by family, friends or public transport.
For more information and resources on senior driving and transportation, visit www.nhsta.gov/road-safety/older-drivers