Nearly half of mature drivers worry about losing their freedom and mobility when it's time to give up the car keys, according to a recent survey by AAA. The auto club is helping the 10,000 Americans who turn 65 every day and other older drivers cope with these life-changing transitions with advice and easy-to-find resources.
Concerned by a loss of mobility, nearly 90 percent of mature drivers who were surveyed indicated that the inability to drive would be a problem, with almost half saying it was a serious problem.
"By 2020 — just eight years from now — it's estimated that nearly one in six people will be age 65 or older and most of them will still be licensed to drive," said AAA South Dakota spokeswoman Marilyn Buskohl. "No matter how active and healthy seniors are today, it's evident that anxiety about giving up the keys is a huge concern."
AAA's survey also indicates that motorists age 65 and older often self-police their driving or avoid driving situations that put them at greater risk of a crash. Eighty percent of senior drivers voluntarily avoid one or more high-risk driving situations. More than half (61 percent) avoid driving in bad weather; 50 percent avoid night driving; 42 percent don't drive in heavy traffic and 37 percent avoid unfamiliar roads.
As a leading road safety advocate, AAA provides expert advice and helpful resources for older adults and their families—working to support them as they tackle the challenge of balancing safety and mobility.
SeniorDriving.AAA.com provides convenient, free, online access to a wealth of interactive material. AAA's suite of free online tools and programs include:
- Roadwise Review – A confidential, computer-based screening tool that allows older drivers to measure changes in their functional abilities. The program is scientifically linked to that individual's crash risk.
- CarFit – A community-based program that offers mature adults the opportunity to check how well their personal vehicles "fit" them for maximum comfort and safety.
- Smart Features for Mature Drivers – A guide to help identify vehicle features that can assist drivers with the visual, physical and mental changes that are frequently encountered as we age.
To view the results of AAA's survey of older drivers, visit NewsRoom.AAA.com.
For more information on AAA's free resources for mature drivers and their families, go to SeniorDriving.AAA.com.
A not-for-profit organization, AAA South Dakota serves its 91,570 members across South Dakota with emergency help on the road, auto travel assistance and a wide range of personal insurance, travel, financial and automotive services through its 10 branches, and the Internet at AAA.com.