Keeping Older Drivers Safe and Behind the Wheel

older lady standing in front of a car

A recent report completed by the nonprofit transportation research group TRIP finds that fatalities in traffic crashes involving drivers 65 and older increased 22 percent from 2012 to 2016. And the number of seniors killed in those crashes increased by 16 percent nationwide. In 2016, there were 7,256 fatalities involving at least one driver 65-years-old or older.

As Americans are experiencing longer lifespans, their quality of life is closely tied to their mobility. Adjustments to the roadway such as clearer signage, brighter lane markings and overhead lighting can help keep drivers mobile for longer.  And according to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 90 percent of older drivers do not make inexpensive adaptions to their vehicles that can improve safety and extend their time behind the wheel. Common adaptions include pedal extensions, seat cushions and steering wheel covers.

An easy way to encourage older drivers to make modifications is by introducing them to CarFit, which was developed by the American Society on Aging in collaboration with AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association. CarFit is a community-based program that provides a quick, yet comprehensive 12-point check of how well a driver and their vehicle work together. Click here for more information on CarFit events in Colorado .