Older Driver Safety Awareness Week in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – This is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week.

The American Occupational Therapy Association is a prime sponsor.

AAA says the 65-and-older age group is the fastest growing segment of drivers on the road.

And 299 “senior citizens” in that age group were killed in traffic accidents last year.

That represented 22-percent of all those killed in the state in 2021.

And that’s a ten-year high.

The auto agency says the state has developed strategies to keep older drivers safe on the highway, while offering alternatives when it’s time to hand over the keys.

Here are some tips from AAA:

“Driving allows older Ohioans to maintain their independence and stay connected to family, friends, and their communities. While preserving that independence is important, it is also important for everyone to do their part to
support safe driving practices to protect themselves and others,” said Ursel J. McElroy, Director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “Especially this year, as more people get back on the roads, and with the holidays right around the corner, it’s a smart time for older Ohioans and their loved ones to refamiliarize themselves on best practices for older drivers so they can get around with confidence.”

To help improve safety, state partners offer the following tips for older drivers and their families:

Stay aware of your changing physical, vision, and hearing abilities and adjust your driving habits accordingly.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any medical conditions you have or medications you take could make it unsafe to drive.

Do most of your driving during daylight and in good weather. Avoid busy roadways and rush hours whenever possible.

Plan your route before you drive and choose routes with well-lit streets, intersections with left turn signals, and easy parking.

Avoid distractions while driving, including talking or texting on a cell phone, eating, or listening to a loud radio.

Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you so you can react if the other driver stops or slows suddenly.

Do not drive too slowly, as this can be as unsafe as speeding.

ODOT also offers tips.