Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Safer Driving For Seniors

In Windsor, a 67-year old man died in a solo vehicle crash when his black Volvo SUV drifted off the highway and ended up in a ditch on Shiloh Road.

Authorities speculate that the man may have suffered a medical emergency while driving which caused him to lose control of his vehicle.

According to the California Highway Patrol’s estimates, by 2020, the number of senior citizens in California will double, which could also relatively increase the incident rates of elderly drivers being involved in road accidents.

Aging is an inevitable process and sooner or later, even the best drivers would succumb to the decline of their physical, cognitive, and visual abilities which in turn will seriously affect their driving capabilities.

Even physically and mentally fit elderly drivers may become a road hazard because of the medication they take.

However in terms of fatalities, drivers aged 75 and older kill fewer pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists and are mostly a danger to themselves and their passengers.

In order to curb the incidence of fatal car crashes involving senior citizens, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the CHP and the American Automobile Association are offering driving courses to help elderly drivers such as:

• Stay Vital seminar – A refresher course on traffic safety rules, driving scenarios and tips to improve drivers' comfort and safety.

• AAA Online Mature Driver Course – Aims to reduce the risk of traffic collisions and violations.

• CarFit – A program which helps older drivers adjust their seat and vehicle to improve their comfort and safety.

• Drive Sharp – An online program which uses a brain-fitness training program to help drivers be more alert.

• Mature Driver Improvement Course – This course provides instruction, specifically tailored to older drivers, regarding defensive driving and California motor vehicle laws.