Road safety for Older drivers

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Introduction

Road safety is of fundamental importance no matter who you are. Moreover, everyone is affected because the safety of everyone depends on a strong collective approach through education and a commitment to welfare on the road. In fact, the World Health Organization goes so far as to emphasise this in their global health projections: they estimate that injuries from road traffic accidents will be the world’s 5th leading cause of death by 2030.  

When it comes to age groups that are most at-risk, there are a range of factors that contribute to vulnerability on the road. Older people, in particular, are a driver group who have more diverse risks as they age with more dynamic factors that affect their safety.  

While older drivers are less at-risk than younger drivers on the road and in fact, less likely to be involved in accidents overall, there are different concerns for people as they age.

Older drivers generally adhere to more conscientious behaviour such as driving below the speed limit, physical aging factors such as weakened eyesight and declining hearing conversely can increase danger to themselves and others over time.

So, how do we support our older drivers — both ourselves if we fall into the age group or loved ones who do — to be safer on the road? One key step is finding ways to keep people on the road as driving is largely about independence, maintaining relationships, and the ability to retain a key adult life skill.

The Older Drivers Taskforce says on this,

“As the number of older drivers grows, we need to provide improved practical self-help and support for responsible older drivers, their families and GPs. There is a need to know what to watch out for and to support the maintenance of driving skills.”    

To explore this topic further, Hussey Fraser shared this infographic ‘Road safety for Older drivers’ that provides more essential information on this topic that will affect everyone in some way. Whether it’s you, someone you care for, or a member of your community, we can all benefit from prioritising steps that keep all drivers safe.

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