From: Journal Sentinel
There are currently more than 23 million licensed drivers aged 70 and older, and with baby boomers beginning to reach 70 years of age, the number of seniors on the road will rise steadily over the next two decades.
A new survey released by Liberty Mutual Insurance finds that the majority of senior drivers are behind the wheel regularly, even with reported limited physical abilities. Though many seniors drive safely well into their later years, it’s likely that they will eventually have to face the difficult decision to stop driving. While the majority of senior drivers surveyed are open to conversations about limiting or stopping their driving, only 6 percent have spoken with someone about their driving abilities.
“These are difficult conversations but important to have early and often, because everyone ages differently,” says David Melton, driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual Insurance and managing director of global safety. “Too often, these discussions are avoided until warning signs appear or, worse, there is an accident. It’s a step we all need to take to ensure the safety of our loved ones and the community.”
The report reveals that despite declining physical abilities, many seniors still drive several times a week or even every day. In the past six months, the majority surveyed reported driving regularly despite slow reaction times, difficulty seeing or hearing, getting lost or feeling confused while driving.