CLEVELAND — With people age 65 and older hitting the road to join family and friends over the holidays, multiple state agencies and AAA are reminding drivers to “Stay Fit to Drive” by following a few basic safety tips.
Gov. Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Department of Aging unveiled a new webpage with resources specifically created for older adults, as well as their family, friends and caregivers.
“Although older adults are among the safest drivers on Ohio’s roads, their risk of being injured or killed in a crash increases with age,” said DeWine. “This new website puts resources for older drivers in one place to help them stay independent longer while reducing risks to themselves and others on the road.”
Between 2010 and 2019, the U.S. population of people age 65 and older grew by 34% and data from ODOT shows the number of deaths involving older drivers spiked in 2019.
Those numbers went down due to the pandemic travel restrictions, but are now expected to rise again with those restrictions easing.
The new website includes ways to help older drivers adopt strategies to stay safe on the road as well as advice for discussing the topic with family members and finding alternative transportation resources.
“You want to talk about, you know, staying aware of their physical changes, vision hearing, of course, changes over time and being able to adjust their driving to those changing features,” said Theresa Pdguskii, AAA East Central Director of Legislative affairs. “Ask your pharmacist or doctor making sure that the older driver's talking to their pharmacist or doctor if any medical conditions have changed. Are those medications that are being prescribed - can they impact the driving of that driver?
AAA also offers mature driver courses, helping people refresh their skills before they get back on the road.
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