Majority of Older Americans Worried About Giving Up Driving, AAA Says
Nearly half of drivers 65 and up say not driving would be a 'serious problem.'
Nearly 90 percent of older Americans remain worried about losing their ability to drive a car, with nearly half citing it as a serious problem, according to a new AAA survey.
As baby boomers collect Social Security in record numbers -- by 2020, about one in six Americans will be 65 or older, AAA says -- the struggle to hold onto the wheel will place more pressure on certain states that require license retesting for seniors, and on families trying to make the right decisions.
However, despite the risk, many older drivers surveyed said they avoid certain “high-risk situations” such as driving in bad weather (61 percent) or at night (50 percent), and venturing onto unfamiliar roads (37 percent).
“Due to this self-policing, older drivers can be very safe drivers,” said John Paul, a AAA spokesman who regularly hosts driver-education seminars for seniors across New England.
According to the MIT AgeLab, a research group that studies how older people cope with changing transportation systems, one of the biggest problems lies within the auto industry itself, which may not consider how their technology and designs affect seniors. “This may be particularly the case for older drivers for whom many of these technologies represent significant challenges to their mental models of how to operate a vehicle,” the group said in a recent research paper.
For most seniors living outside of a major metropolitan area and with limited access to public transportation, not being able to drive could impact their health, Paul said. “It is their cars that let them go to doctor’s appointments, church and shopping,” he said. “Losing this ability to drive would limit their social life, a critical part of aging.”
Isn't it interesting we have an article that talks about seniors who are afraid of losing their driving privileges and in the previous article we have a group of young people who could care less if they even have a car? I guess that is one definition of a generation gap.
I totally get the concerns about too much technology being present in our new cars and I'm not even a senior. Maybe Jitterbug needs to get into the car business...
“It is their cars that let them go to doctor’s appointments, church, and shopping,” he said. “Losing this ability to drive would limit their social life, a critical part of aging.”
If it means saving the life of someone they might kill or injure on the road then they should not drive period! Problem is they think they are fine to drive and to stubborn to stop when people tell them to stop driving because they are unsafe on the road. Keep in mind driving is a privilege NOT a right.
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