McArthur Law Firm

Georgia Offers Older Driver Safety Program

A new Georgia campaign has been launched to assist elderly drivers remain safe on the road. The "Older Driver Safety Program" is being administered by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. The program utilizes a public health approach to providing on-going education about maintaining their safe driving skills while aging, offering ongoing driver safety courses, and monitoring people's driving through periodic assessments.

In comparison to other age groups, older drivers have a very high rate of motor vehicle fatalities. In 2008, drivers 65 years and older had the highest numbers of fatalities per crash (14.2 per 1,000 crashes) among all driving age populations. By 2025, in Georgia, motor vehicle crashes are expected to account for the No. 2 leading cause of unintentional injury deaths among adults age 65 and older.

In 2012, drivers 65 and older were involved in 204 fatal traffic crashes in Georgia, and 20 percent of all occupant fatalities that year involved a crash with a driver 65 and older. The No. 1 most common contributing factor for elderly drivers in all incidents was failure to yield the right of way. The No. 2 most common contributing factor for crashes was failure to keep in proper lane.

What Older Drivers Should Know

1) Understand the impact that aging can have on your safe driving skills:
• Vision, memory, flexibility, and reaction time decline as we age.
• Talk to your doctor about medical conditions that may affect your driving.

2) Be proactive about your driving skills:
• Take a driver safety course.
• Attend a CarFit safety event.
• Learn where your driving skills are: take a self-assessment test or find a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist and get an evaluation.

3) Plan for a safe transition for a parent or relative:
• Learn how to initiate a discussion when concerned about someone's driving.
• Investigate what transportation options are available in your community.

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