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Aging Drivers

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

By the year 2020, it’s estimated there will be 38 million drivers over the age of 70 on
U.S. roads, compared to 13 million now. Reports show that mature motorists are not involved
in a disproportionate number of motor vehicle crashes. That’s in part because many mature
drivers adapt their driving habits to fit their abilities. As drivers age, they tend to
become more conservative on the road, slow down, drive less at night, and avoid busy roads.
However, older drivers are more likely than younger ones to be involved in multi-vehicle
crashes, particularly at intersections, and to be seriously injured those crashes.

Information on how to address issues involving aging drivers is contained in a new booklet
titled “Supporting the Mature Driver: A Handbook for Friends, Family Members and Advisors,”
by Barbara L. Spreitzer-Berent, founder and president of Quest Learning Resources.
Spreitzer-Berent says a decline of skills necessary for safe driving may occur suddenly or
subtly. Signs may include a pattern of close calls, violations, collisions, even if they’re
minor; consistent and increasing difficulty in noticing pedestrians, signs, objects or
other vehicles; an observable decline in physical abilities; and the rapid onset of fatigue
from driving. “Supporting the Mature Driver” is endorsed by the Traffic Safety Association
of Michigan. It is available for $6.95, plus tax, postage and handling, from AgeQuest,
(248) 547-4618.

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