Nearly Half of Senior Drivers Worry About Giving Up Their Keys
Nearly half of senior drivers worry about losing their freedom and mobility when it's time to give up the car keys, according to a recent survey by the American Automobile Association (AAA). As 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, AAA is helping aging drivers cope with the life-changing transitions facing them with expert advice and easy-to-find resources on its updated website for seniors and their families SeniorDriving.AAA.com.
Concerned by a loss of mobility, nearly 90 percent of senior drivers indicate that the inability to drive would be a problem, with almost half claiming it a serious problem. "By 2020 it's estimated that nearly one in six people will be age 65 or older and most of them will be licensed to drive," said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago. "No matter how active and healthy seniors are today, it's evident that anxiety about giving up the keys is an age-old concern. Now is the time for seniors to equip themselves with the tools necessary to stay driving as long as safely possible and have a plan for when driving is no longer a safe option."
Helping to dispel the all-too-common myth that seniors are dangerous drivers, AAA's survey also indicates that motorists age 65 and older often "self-police" their driving or avoid driving situations that put them at greater risk of a crash. In fact, 80 percent of senior drivers voluntarily avoid one or more high-risk driving situations. More than half (61 percent) of these drivers avoid driving in bad weather; 50 percent avoid night driving; 42 percent avert trips in heavy traffic and 37 percent avoid unfamiliar roads.
As a leading road safety advocate for 110 years, AAA continues to provide expert advice and helpful resources for older adults and their families, working to support them as they tackle the challenge of balancing safety and mobility.
SeniorDriving.AAA.com provides convenient, online access to a wealth of interactive material including:
>> DriveSharp – A brain training fitness program clinically proven to make people safer drivers. For a limited time, AAA is providing this program free for select Illinois and northern Indiana members (an $89 value) at www.AAA.com/DriveSharp. A valid AAA membership number is required.
>> AAA Roadwise Review – A computer-based screening tool that allows drivers to measure changes in their functional abilities scientifically linked to crash risk.
>> Smart Features for Mature Drivers – A guide to help identify vehicle features that can assist drivers with the visual, physical and mental changes that are frequently encountered as they age.
>> State-by-State Licensing Laws for Seniors – Learn how often seniors are required to renew their license.