Older Driver Safety Awareness Week Perfect Opportunity for Families to Talk

Older Driver Safety Awareness Week Perfect Opportunity for Families to Talk

AAA encourages communication, offers free seminars to keep senior drivers safe & mobile

BUFFALO, N.Y., December 3, 2009 – In support of Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, December 6-12, AAA is encouraging seniors and their families to have a conversation about driving safety and aging. Driving is a very complex activity that requires certain physical, visual, and cognitive abilities. As people age, those abilities often change in subtle ways.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in five people will be age 65 or older by 2030, with an estimated 90 percent licensed to drive. People over 65 are the fastest-growing population in the United States, which makes senior mobility and safe driving an issue that millions of families are facing.

For many seniors, talking about continued safe driving can easily spark strong emotional reactions, such as concerns about personal independence and managing other day-to-day activities. Fortunately, these conversations also can serve as opportunities for constructive communication and problem solving. Talking with an older driver is the first step.

“Many people do not know where to turn for help to address the safety and mobility challenges often faced by older drivers and their families,” said Tom Chestnut, President/CEO of AAA Western and Central New York. “AAA’s Driving Academy provides the tools necessary to manage the effects of aging on driving while helping seniors stay mobile as long as safely possible.”

To assist with continuing the conversation, AAA invites senior drivers and their families to an educational presentation geared towards keeping seniors safe behind the wheel. Three seminars are currently scheduled in the areas of Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse.

  • Wednesday, January 13 at the AAA Amherst Travel and Insurance Center, 100 International Drive, at 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, January 20 at Rivers Run, 50 Fairwood Drive (near RIT) in Henrietta, at 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, January 27 at the AAA Liverpool Insurance Center, 7485 Henry Clay Boulevard, at 10:00 a.m.

AAA’s Senior Mobility Seminar addresses the effects of visual impairment, reduced strength and other physical limitations, the effects of medications, and the use adaptive equipment. Information on in-car driving evaluations and other resources, such as special Defensive Driving courses for seniors, AAA’s CarFit program, Roadwise Review, and www.AAASeniors.com, an online source for expert advice and research based tools, will also be addressed.

The seminar is free and open to the general public. Reservations are required. To register or obtain more information on AAA’s Driving Academy services, please call 1-800-836-CLUB (2582) or visit www.AAA.com.

Although more likely to wear their seatbelts, less likely to drink and drive, and less likely to speed, age-related frailties make senior drivers more likely to be injured or in killed in an automobile crash. Senior drivers have the second highest crash death rate per mile of all motorists, following teen drivers.

As Upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA provides nearly 880,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.