California Highway Patrol’s Elderly Driver Safety Campaign

A press release from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) outlines their plan to increase roadway safety through education for elderly drivers. December 2nd through the 6th is “Older Driver Safety Awareness Week.” Officials with the CHP and the American Occupation Therapy Association (AOTA) are working to increase awareness about the importance of opening a discussion about diminished driving abilities with older drivers this holiday season.

Just the Facts for 2011

• 5,401 people age 65 years or older were killed in traffic crashes.
• 185,000 older drivers were injured in crashes.
• 17 percent of people who died in traffic crashes were age 65 years or older.
• The CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), reports that 23,000 older drivers were involved in crashes.
• 400 of those drivers were killed.
• The CHP reports that 50 percent of senior drivers involved in collisions were found to be at fault.

“Empowering Senior Drivers through Education”

Since driving is such an important part of an elderly person’s identity and independence, it’s important to empower them with education before taking the keys away. The “Empowering Senior Drivers through Education” campaign is aimed at giving seniors information and education so they can feel comfortable and confident about discussing their potentially diminished driving capabilities. The CHP offers a two-hour course designed to help seniors stay safe on and off of the roadways called “Age Well, Drive Smart.” This class is designed to educate seniors on topics that are specific to drivers in their age group.

Talking with Your Senior Driver

If you’re concerned about your loved one’s driving abilities, it’s time to have a discussion. Officials with the CHP point out that this time of year offers concerned family members a great opportunity to talk about senior driving abilities. It’s never a good idea to put off having the talk. If you’re concerned, talk to your elderly loved one before somebody gets hurt. Contact a local CHP office for scheduling information and talking points. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers a fantastic “Drive Well” toolkit for senior drivers. With an increase in automobiles on the roadways this holiday season, everybody needs to get to their destinations safely. The team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. wishes everybody safe and happy travels this holiday season.

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