New web­site tells older driv­ers how to as­sess their skills, im­prove driv­ing

Cape Breton Post - - ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT -

TORONTO (CP) — A web­site and brochures were un­veiled this week to help older driv­ers stay safe on the road and make de­ci­sions about when they should re­tire their car keys.

The Cana­dian As­so­ci­a­tion of Oc­cu­pa­tional Ther­a­pists in­tro­duced the re­sources for driv­ers, their fam­i­lies and health pro­fes­sion­als on the web­site www.old­er­driver­safety.ca.

The site of­fers var­i­ous facts about whether some­one is fit to drive and tips for safe driv­ing as peo­ple age.

For in­stance, it sug­gests older driv­ers take re­fresher driv­ing cour­ses, avoid rush hour when­ever they can and fig­ure out routes that will al­low them to avoid left turns if they have dif­fi­culty with them.

“Older adults want to main­tain their mo­bil­ity and con­tinue driv­ing for as long as pos­si­ble,” Dr. Clau­dia Von Zweck, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the as­so­ci­a­tion, said in a state­ment.

“To do so safely, they need in­for­ma­tion on strate­gies to im­prove their driv­ing prac­tices in re­la­tion to health and age.”

The lead­ing cause of ac­ci­den­tal death for peo­ple aged 65 to 75 in Canada is re­lated to driv­ing, statis­tics show, and a driver over 75 is 3.5 times more likely to be in­volved in a crash per mile (1.6 kilo­me­tres) driven than a 35-to 40-year-old driver.

The safety project is part of the Na­tional Blue­print for In­jury Preven­tion in Older Driv­ers, re­leased a year ago in part­ner­ship with McGill Uni­ver­sity and sup­ported by the Pub­lic Health Agency of Canada.

Among other tips, the web­site of­fers the fol­low­ing warn­ing signs of un­safe driv­ing: —You lose your way. —You have less con­fi­dence in your driv­ing skills.

—You no­tice other driv­ers honk at you.

—You miss stop signs or traf­fic lights.

—You mix up gas and brake ped­als.

—You have prob­lems with lane changes or merg­ing.

—You have mi­nor ac­ci­dents or traf­fic tick­ets.

—Your passenger needs to help you.

—Fam­ily and friends refuse to get in the car with you.

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