Thursday, July 16, 2009

The True Risk Senior Drivers Pose

A series of recent traffic-related incidents in Massachusetts involving senior drivers have thrust the issues of senior licensing and the danger senior drivers pose on the road into the national spotlight. While these incidents were certainly tragic, the truth is that while seniors may appear to be a threat on the road they are actually less of a threat than you or I. In fact a recent AAA Foundation study that was published in the Journal of Safety Research analyzed government data on fatal crashes from 1999-2003 to estimate the risk that drivers of various ages would be involved in and be partially responsible for a fatal crash. The study revealed teenagers are the most at risk group to be involved in a fatal crash and that seniors, while they do pose some threat, are actually much more of risk to themselves then other drivers or pedestrians. Nevertheless, the study has confirmed that the risk of being involved in a fatal crash increases around age 65, and over 3,000 drivers in that age category are killed each year.

Ideally, getting a drivers’ license should be based on whether an individual has cognitive and physical functional abilities necessary to drive a car. There is no denying some of these abilities are affected with age, but this doesn’t mean senior drivers can’t maintain these abilities at the level necessary to drive. And, given the demographics associated with the baby boom, our society is getting older, and thus, now more than effort we need to emphasize the programs to extend the safe driving experience for older drivers. Fortunately, I am excited to announce that a new computer program (interactive game) called DriveSharp™ is now available that can do just that. The Drive Sharp program uses computer exercises to help seniors improve things such as divided attention, reaction time or “useful field of view” – factors that are directly correlated with being a safe driver. And, from my perspective, the most exciting aspect is that Drive Sharp has been shown to reduce the risk of at-fault crashes by up to 50%. For those seniors who want or need to improve their functional abilities needed to drive this is an outstanding tool. A free screening test and information on the program, including a free is available at


Al C said...

State governments don't care about traffic safety. Their main concern is about money for the Treasury and power for themselves.

So the goal of many traffic laws that are passed is revenue enhancement. That's the money angle.

To maintain their power, that is, stay in office, laws that would enrage voting citizens are not passed. That is why, in NY, you see laws targeting teens, e.g., zero tolerance drinking laws, seat belts must be worn only by those under 16 in the back seat. The reason for such targeted laws is that teens don't vote and will not retaliate.

When will we see laws requiring the retesting of seniors? Never! Because seniors vote and would throw the offending legislator out on his ear. And they know it!

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robert said...

That's true, Senior drivers are pose less risk than teenage drivers, as senior drivers experience help them to over come the road difficulties while teenagers did not.

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Maric Capell said...

Senior drivers have high risk of traffic deaths for two reasons. First, individuals age 75 and older are involved in significantly more automobile accidents per distance motivated than middle-aged individuals.

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Jason said...

I really appreciate you for sharing this wonderful post. With the help of electronic safety scoreboard you can make people aware about the dangers areas while driving.

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