For many, driving is a rite of passage to adulthood and more often than not, the beginning of ones independence.
As such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many people would feel reluctant to turn over their keys simply because they’ve gotten older.
Still, the concern over when it becomes unsafe to drive is one that worries many families of the loved ones who continue to get behind the wheel in their old age.
Throughout this week, we’ll discuss a wide variety of topics related to senior driving, from the rising number of senior drivers, to how age affects driving, maintaining your independence, and more.
For today, we’ll start with some basic facts in regards to senior driving. Take a look below:
The rise in elderly drivers
In recent years, the number of elderly drivers has steadily risen. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 33 million licensed drivers ages 65 and older in the U.S, which is a 23% increase from 1999.
And this number is only expected to explode in the coming years.
With Baby Boomers making their way into retirement, it is projected that by 2030, 85% to 90% of the 70 million Americans older than 65 will have driverâ€™s licenses, according to auto insurer AAA.
Accidents do happen
In 2008, more than 5,500 older adults were killed, and more than 183,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes. According to the CDC, this amounts to 15 older adults killed and 500 injured in crashes on average every day.
Statistics like these raise concern over whether or not certain measures should be taken to help ensure the safety of our loved ones who wish to drive in their old age.
In more recent news, the unfortunate passing of 88-year-old Lorraine McKaig may also serve as a reminder that accidents can and do occur to senior drivers; McKaig had crashed into a fence while driving to her destination. And, although the report notes that the official cause of death was from heart disease, it does bring into question whether or not McKaig was well enough to drive in the first place.
There are steps that older adults can take to maintain their independence
While the risk of injury does increase as you age, there are still ways to help you maintain your ability to drive and thus your independence, such as taking the proper steps to ensure that you are in good health, both physically and mentally.
As Jim Bassett, a senior who continues to drive at the age of 72, says, “Driving, to me, is an individual thing. There’s people in their 80s who are quite capable, and there’s people in their 40s I don’t think should drive. If you’re capable, I could see no reason why you should give up your driving.”
On Wednesday, we will outline how age affects your ability to drive. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns about the information we’ve discussed above, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We’re always here to help!
Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living “currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa “provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Get your free Cost Comparison guide by clicking here. Or contact us for a free consultation or just to say hello!
“Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.private-duty.pchhc.com.”