The oldest of the baby boomer generation has reached retirement age this year, but older Americans will not be retiring from driving any time soon. In fact, by 2030, an estimated one out of every five drivers in the U.S. will be over the age of 65.
In honor of May as Older Americans Month, AAA encourages mature drivers and their families to get ahead of the curve by taking advantage of new technologies to keep them motoring safely.
“Older drivers have years of experience behind the wheel, and they are statistically one of the safest groups on the road, but we cannot ignore the fact that age brings natural changes that can make driving more challenging,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona.
“Age-related issues are nearly universal, and can be difficult to address. However, there are a variety of tools and resources that can help mature drivers assess their ability, improve their skills, and maintain their mobility as long and safely as possible.”
In honor of Older Americans Month, AAA would like to highlight driver assessment, training, and technology tools to help the mature population overcome age-related driving issues:
• Roadwise Review is a scientifically-proven screening tool that measures functional abilities that are linked to crash risk amongst older drivers. To access the free online version, visit www.aaaseniors.com. To purchase the CD-ROM version, visit www.aaaazstore.com/pr.
• DriveSharp is a computer software program that can reduce crash risk by up to 50 percent by strengthening the brain’s ability to process what motorists are seeing so they can focus better, keep track of more on the road, and react faster while driving. AAA members can purchase DriveSharp by visiting www.drivesharpnow.com/az.
Mature Driver Online Safety Course
• Mature Driver Online Safety Course is an online course for drivers age 55 years or older that includes safe driving instruction and information on state-specific motor vehicle laws. Offered by I Drive Safely, the course can qualify individuals for a discount on their auto insurance.
• AAASeniors.com is a one-stop online source that offers expert advice about how aging affects one’s ability to drive safely. The information and tools on the site are designed to aid in starting conversations, assessing abilities, and improving the comfort and safety of older drivers.
In addition to these tools, the auto club also offers traditional resources to help older drivers make safer decisions about their mobility and ensure they are ready for the road:
Keeping the Keys
• Keeping the Keys is a free workshop that explains the effects age can have on driving, and offers advice, tools and resources older drivers can implement to prolong their driving independence. Upcoming workshops are listed on the Keeping the Keys workshop page.
• CarFit is a free assessment that offers mature drivers the opportunity to see how well their personal vehicle “fits” them. During the assessment, trained technicians check the motorists’ line of sight, headrest position, gas and brake pedal accessibility, and more.
To learn more about these resources, register for a workshop, or schedule a CarFit assessment, call (602) 241-2945 or (520) 258-0518, or e-mail publicrelations@arizona .aaa.com.
AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services more than 800,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Emergency Road Service responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on the streets and highways of the state as well as providing insurance, travel, and financial services to AAA members and motorists. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.
In 2008, AAA was ranked the No. 1 “socially responsible” brand by Landor’s BrandAsset® Valuator.