Keeping Older Drivers Safe
Each day, Over 700+ older adults (age 65+) are involved in a motor vehicle crash. While many people make financial retirement plans, most do not plan for other changes that may come with age. These changes can include your mobility, ability to get around and drive.
It’s not easy to talk about, but as we get older, physical changes can make it harder to get around and do things we want or need to do—like driving, shopping, or doing household chores.
You might not have mobility problems now, but you could in the future. You may even know others who already do—perhaps a parent, relative, friend, or neighbor. While it may not be possible to prevent all of these changes, there are actions you and your loved ones can take today, and as you age, to help keep you safe and independent tomorrow.
The CDC has created the MyMobility Planning tool to guide you to take action today to help keep yourself—or your loved ones—safe, mobile, and independent tomorrow.
Why Have a MyMobility Plan?
- Falls and motor vehicle crashes related to mobility are the leading causes of injury and death in older adults.
- There are many negative outcomes for older adults if they stop driving or fall, including reductions in their health, social interaction, and the ability to get around.
- CDC developed this planning tool, using available scientific evidence, to help older adults plan future mobility changes that might increase their risk for motor vehicle crashes and falls.
- Adult children or caregivers can also use this planning tool to help older parents, relatives, or friends.
Who is most at risk?
- Older drivers, particularly those aged 75+, have higher crash death rates than middle-aged drivers (aged 35-54).3 Higher crash death rates among this age group are primarily due to increased vulnerability to injury in a crash.
- Across all age groups, males have substantially higher death rates than females.4
- Age-related declines in vision and cognitive functioning (ability to reason and remember), as well as physical changes, might affect some older adults’ driving abilities.5
How can older driver deaths and injuries be prevented?
In general, older adults engage in safer driving behaviors than other age groups, including more frequently wearing seat belts, driving when conditions are safest, and not drinking and driving.
Taking these key steps can help adults of all ages, including older adults, stay safe on the road:
- Have a plan – download and use CDC’s MyMobility Plan to make a plan to stay mobile and independent as you age.
- Always wear a seatbelt as a driver or passenger.
- Follow a regular activity program to increase strength and flexibility.
- Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year? Wear glasses and corrective lenses as required.
- Drive during daylight and in good weather.
- Plan your route before you drive.
- Find the safest route with well-lit streets, intersections with left-turn signals, and easy parking.
- Leave a large following distance between your car and the car in front of you.
- Avoid distractions in your car, such as listening to a loud radio, talking or texting on your phone, and eating.
Transportation And Mobility Assitance Services
Age or illness related mobility challenges can make one feel a loss of independence. Our Care Plans are designed to meet the needs of those who need help with certain aspects of daily life, such as driving, shopping, or doing household chores. All of our plans can be customized to meet your or your loved ones’ specific care needs.
To learn more about our Transportation and Home Care Services, contact us today!
- Older Drivers: Stay Safe Behind the Wheel
- CDC’s MyMobility Plan
- NIOSH: Older Drivers in the Workplace: How Employers and Workers Can Prevent Crashes pdf icon[PDF – 769 KB]
- Clearinghouse for Older Road User Safety (CHORUS)external icon
- University of Michigan, Transportation Research Institute: Driving Decisions Workbookexternal icon
- AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Senior Driver Web Siteexternal icon
- AAA National: AAA Roadwise Review: A Tool to Help Seniors Drive Safely Longerexternal icon
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Active Aging Programsexternal icon
- AARP: Driver Safety Programexternal icon