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Survey Says Older Drivers Are Dangerously Delaying Conversation about Driving Safety

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Talking about when it’s time to stop driving is a difficult and emotional conversation for older drivers, their families, and their doctors. But delaying a heart-to-heart can be detrimental to everyone’s safety. According to new research released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers project, a shocking number of senior drivers are avoiding the subject.

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“Nearly 83 percent of older drivers report never speaking to a family member or physician about their safe driving ability,” says the study. “Of the small percentage of families who do have the often difficult conversation, 15 percent do so after a crash or traffic infraction has occurred, which could be too late. Due to their fragility, older drivers are at greater risk of death and injury if involved in a crash.”

There’s no universal age that signals when drivers should hand over the keys, but that doesn’t mean the conversation about it should wait until a serious issue comes up.

“The right time to stop driving varies for everyone,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety. “This research shows that older drivers can be hesitant to initiate conversations about their driving capabilities, so it is important that families encourage them to talk early and often about their future behind the wheel. With early discussion and proper planning, elderly drivers may extend their time on the road.”

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It’s best to be proactive about driving safety, well before issues such as health problems, difficulty staying in the lane, falling asleep at the wheel, crashes, or minor fender benders start occurring, explains AAA.

News Source: AAA