Preventing Motor Vehicle Crashes Among Older Adults
According to the CDC, older adults often exhibit behaviors that protect them from being injured in a crash. These include (1):
- Using a seat belt. Older drivers are more likely to wear a seat belt while in a motor vehicle compared to younger drivers.
- Tendency to drive when conditions are the safest. Older drivers often limit their driving during bad weather and at night. They also drive fewer miles than younger drivers.
- Less likely to drink and drive. Older drivers are less likely to drive impaired than younger drivers.
Older adults can take several steps to stay safe on the road, including (1):
- Exercising regularly to increase strength and flexibility.
- Asking your doctor or pharmacist to review medicines (both prescription and over-the counter) to reduce side effects and interactions.
- Having eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. Wear glasses and corrective lenses as required.
- Driving during daylight and in good weather.
- Finding the safest route with well-lit streets, intersections with left turn arrows, and easy parking.
- Planning your route before you drive.
- Leaving a large following distance behind the car in front of you.
- Avoiding distractions in your car, such as listening to a loud radio, talking on your cell phone, texting, and eating.
- Considering potential alternatives to driving, such as riding with a friend or using public transit, that you can use to get around.