Senior

Nearly Half of Senior Drivers Worry About No Longer Driving, AAA Survey Reveals

As 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, anxieties crest with first wave of “silver tsunami”

WASHINGTON (April 3, 2012)–Nearly half of senior drivers worry about losing their freedom and mobility when it’s time to give up the car keys, according to a recent survey by the American Automobile Association (AAA).  As 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, AAA is helping aging drivers cope with the life-changing transitions facing the “silver tsunami” with expert advice and easy-to-find resources.

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Concerned by a loss of mobility, nearly 90 percent of senior drivers indicate that the inability to drive would be a problem, with almost half claiming it a serious problem. “By 2020—just eight years from now—it’s estimated that nearly one in six people will be age 65 or older and most of them will still be licensed to drive,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. “No matter how active and healthy seniors are today, it’s evident that anxiety about giving up the keys is still a top concern.”

Helping to dispel the all-too-common myth that seniors are dangerous drivers, AAA’s survey also indicates that motorists age 65 and older often “self-police” their driving or avoid driving situations that put them at greater risk of a crash.  In fact, 80 percent of senior drivers voluntarily avoid one or more high-risk driving situations. More than half (61 percent) of these drivers avoid driving in bad weather; 50 percent avoid night driving; 42 percent avert trips in heavy traffic and 37 percent avoid unfamiliar roads.

As a leading road safety advocate for 110 years, AAA continues to provide expert advice and helpful resources for older adults, their families and caregivers—working to support them as they tackle the challenge of balancing safety and mobility. SeniorDriving.AAA.com provides convenient, online access to a wealth of interactive material and AAA’s Senior Driver Safety Expos offer a local hands-on opportunity to sample AAA’s suite of free tools and programs including:

  • AAA Roadwise Review – A computer-based screening tool that allows older drivers to measure changes in their functional abilities scientifically linked to crash risk.
  • CarFit – A community-based program that offers older adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles “fit” them for maximum comfort and safety.
  • Smart Features for Mature Drivers – A guide to help identify vehicle features that can assist drivers with the visual, physical and mental changes that are frequently encountered as they age.

View the results from AAA’s survey of older drivers.  For more information on AAA’s free resources for senior drives and their families, visit SeniorDriving.AAA.com.  As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

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