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