Daytona Beach, FL - The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's new research shows that older drivers who aren't as comfortable on the road anymore are starting to cut back their time behind the wheel.
They also say that addressing changes in driving comfort early could help older adults drive safer and longer.
AAA's research shows these drivers are reducing driving in various situations including nighttime driving, freeway driving, rush hour traffic and driving in unfamiliar areas.
Some self-regulated changes that older drivers make can be unnecessary and do not always improve safety. In order to extend their time on the road and reduce risk, AAA recommends that they consult a healthcare professional when feelings of driving discomfort arise.
“By addressing issues of discomfort early, older drivers can learn more about age-related changes to their body and discuss strategies with their healthcare provider to best compensate for declines,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA.
Self-regulation is often considered the best solution, some changes can create unintended consequences on the roadway. For example, using side streets to avoid the freeway can also increase an older drivers’ risk of a crash by increasing the distance traveled and their exposure on the road.
“Oftentimes, simple adjustments to your vehicle, a driver refresher course or a change to your prescription medications can improve comfort and safety behind the wheel,” Jenkins continued. “The key is to speak up about it.”
When older drivers begin to experience physical changes to the body or feelings of driving discomfort, AAA recommends that people talk about it with a doctor or occupational therapy driver rehabilitation specialist, educate themselves, consider a driver improvement course or make changes.
For more information, you can visit AAA's RoadWise courses.