Re­search delves into more se­niors driv­ing

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

A re­searcher at the Univer­sity of New Brunswick says the num­ber of se­niors get­ting into the com­mer­cial driv­ing in­dus­try is ris­ing - and he's warn­ing pol­icy mak­ers to be ready for the im­pli­ca­tions.

Eric Hilde­brand says se­niors cur­rently rep­re­sent about 14 per cent of New Brunswick's gen­eral driv­ing pop­u­la­tion and within the next cou­ple of decades that's go­ing to in­crease to a full onequar­ter.

“That's go­ing to be a huge shift and it's some­thing that's go­ing to need to be ac­com­mo­dated from a pol­icy per­spec­tive, from an en­gi­neer­ing per­spec­tive, from a ve­hi­cle de­sign per­spec­tive and so on,” Hilde­brand said.

“It's some­thing that we need to un­der­stand be­cause it's com­ing and it's com­ing quite quickly.” Hilde­brand is gath­er­ing col­li­sion data from the last four years to ex­am­ine the per­for­mance of older driv­ers in school buses, trans­port trucks, and mo­tor­coaches.

“There has been a short­age of driv­ers, par­tic­u­larly trac­tor­trailer driv­ers, and with pen­sions in the kind of shape they're in and so on, we are start­ing to see more se­niors ei­ther get into these fields or stay in them longer,” Hilde­brand said.

“No­body re­ally un­der­stands what's re­quired and what thresh­olds we need to eval­u­ate peo­ple in terms of whether they are a safe driver or not.”

Hilde­brand said he has done some pre­lim­i­nary anal­y­sis on se­niors driv­ing trac­tor trail­ers, and found that driv­ers over the age of 70 were in­volved in ac­ci­dents at a rate of 6.3 times more than mid­dle-aged driv­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.