According to National Highway Traffic Safety Association statistics based on all people injured or killed in traffic accidents, older drivers are at a disproportionate risk for becoming involved in fatal crashes.
Nationally, senior citizens accounted for:
5% of all people injured in traffic crashes;
13% of all traffic fatalities; and
13% of all vehicle occupant fatalities.
It is ability, not age, that determines safe driving. But for some drivers, age takes its toll; hearing impairments, as well as, other age-related changes that affect vision, ease of movement and reflexes can seriously decrease driving ability.
The good news for seniors is that getting older doesn’t necessarily signal the end of safe driving. “There are many aspects of driving that you can control at any age to keep yourself safer on the road,” says Allstate Agent Kevin Gwozdz. “To ensure they are driving safely, seniors should realistically assess any personal driving difficulties, such as poor night vision, and limit their driving accordingly.”
To help seniors drive safer longer, Allstate Insurance Company offers the following safety tips:
Drive a safe car – choose a vehicle with easy-to-read gauges and instruments, power brakes, power steering and an automatic transmission;
Be sure your steering wheel, mirrors and seats are properly adjusted to your size and height;
Always wear your seatbelt and insist your passengers do the same;
Avoid night driving and driving in bad weather whenever possible;
Reduce car noise by keeping the radio, air conditioner and heater low;
Drive only when you feel well-rested and when traffic is less congested;
If highway speeds make you feel unsafe, limit yourself to local driving;
Avoid school areas at times when schools let out;
Use passengers as co-pilots to help navigate in traffic;
Drive the speed limit. Driving too slow is unsafe;
Avoid eating, drinking, smoking or using a cell phone while driving;
Take a driving course every three years; and
Get a physical and have your eyes and hearing checked annually. Ask your doctor if any medications you take may have an effect on your ability to drive safely.
For additional information on senior safe driving tips or to receive information on other safety topics, contact Allstate Agent Kevin Gwozdz, located at 5721 Covington Road in Fort Wayne. Kevin can be reached at 436-2787.
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