Study: Older Drivers Are Not Discussing Driving Safety

Loved ones are encouraged to have the conversation early and often

Older Driver

By Jennifer Bloodworth for NewsRadio 1020 KDKA

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — It might be time for retirees to consider retiring again, this time from behind the wheel.

A recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found that 83 percent of older drivers report never speaking to a family member or physician about their driving ability.

Of the families who do have that discussion, 15 percent do so after a crash or traffic infraction.

Older drivers face greater risk of injury and death in accidents. In 2016, over 200,000 drivers 65 and older were injured in traffic accidents and more than 3,500 were killed.

AAA East Central director of legislative affairs Theresa Podguski told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News it is best that loved ones start the discussion before it’s too late.    

“It’s very important for them to start having that conversation early and often,” Podguski said.

Podguski also suggests avoiding generalizations or jumping to conclusions while speaking with older drivers, and to focus on the facts.

Help them feel more comfortable by speaking with them one-on-one and create a plan together.

“The conversation about giving up driving can be very difficult and uncomfortable but it is necessary,” Podguski said. “Research from our Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that older drivers are hesitant to bring up the discussion, so we encourage family members to bring up that topic. Keep the mature drivers in your life safe.”

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