CHP recognizes Older Driver Safety Awareness Week
By The Record
Posted Dec 2, 2019 at 5:54 PMUpdated Dec 2, 2019 at 5:54 PM
Driving is a complex activity that requires certain physical, visual and cognitive abilities. As people age, those abilities often change in subtle ways.
A driver’s chronological age is not a good predictor of driving ability, according to the California Highway Patrol. What counts on the road is performance. Having a series of minor crashes or near misses, getting lost on familiar roads, and being spoken to about driving by police, family and friends are a few signs of diminished capacity for safe driving.
To help senior drivers face the challenges of aging safely, the CHP has joined with the American Occupational Therapy Association in recognizing Dec. 2-6 as Older Driver Safety Awareness Week in order to promote understanding of the importance of mobility and transportation to ensure older adults remain active in the community — shopping, working or volunteering — with the confidence that transportation will not be the barrier to strand them at home.
Out of California’s 27 million licensed drivers, 4.5 million — 17 percent — are 65 or older. Preliminary data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System shows that in 2018, 558 drivers 65 or older were in fatal collisions, with 297 at fault. Of all California drivers killed in collisions each year, approximately 15 percent are 65 or older.
The CHP supports older drivers with its free, two-hour “Age Well, Drive Smart” course that helps seniors sharpen their driving skills, refresh their knowledge of the rules of the road and learn how to adjust to normal age-related physical and mental changes.
Information is available online at chp.ca.gov/programs-services or CHP area offices