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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 12/ 6/2010

Focused on older driver safety

By Michael D. Bolden

This week is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, according to the American Occupational Therapy Association, which founded the activity with the goal of ensuring that "older adults remain active in the community ... with the confidence that transportation will not be the barrier to strand them at home."

The National Transportation Safety Board says that within 15 years people 65 years of age or older will make up more than 20 percent of the driving population. The NTSB held a forum last month to look at issues related to the growing number of older drivers.

Several organizations have endorsed the week, including AAA and AARP.

"The fastest growing segment of the country's population is people who are age 65 and older," said Jake Nelson, director of AAA Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research. "The issue of senior driver safety and mobility touches millions of families. Older Driver Safety Awareness Week is an opportunity for families to start a conversation about safe mobility and address any real and perceived challenges associated with driving and aging."

The American Occupational Therapy Association has provided a daily list of topics for consumers to explore related to older drivers. The list includes:
-- Monday: Family conversations about safe driving
-- Tuesday: Evaluations of driving ability
-- Wednesday: Driving equipment and adaptations that allow people to continue to drive safely
-- Thursday: Being aware of changes in driving ability
-- Friday: Life after driving

Resources available on the association's Web site include podcasts about the each of the daily topics and guides on helping and having conversations with older drivers.

NHTSA: Driving safely while aging gracefully

Are you dealing with older drivers in your own life, or are you an older driver? What advice do you have for others about addressing the issue?

Related stories:

NTSB forum examines growing population of older drivers

Study: Older people driving more, having fewer accidents

The crossroads of aging and driving

By Michael D. Bolden  | December 6, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Driving  
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