When should older drivers hang up their keys?

Aug 15, 2018

A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows nearly 83 percent of older drivers never speak to family or a physician about their safe driving ability.

Credit AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

Elizabeth Carey, public relations director of the AAA of Western and Central New York says, statewide, last year, there were 52,000 crashes involving senior drivers and 210 of them were fatal. Carey says families concerned about the safety of an older driver need to open up the lines of communication.
    
"It's not saying that older are not safe on the roads. But sometimes discussions need to be had and modifications need to take place to make sure they're safe behind the wheel. So talking about it, talking early, talking about it often, is helpful. And not to jump to a conclusion about an older driver's skills. So you want to make sure you take that into consideration. And talk one-on-one with them and involve the doctor as well," Carey said.  

For help, the AAA offers senior driving evaluations. "Sometimes that's easier because it takes the pressure off of the family and it puts it onto the driving instructor who have to make their own suggestions on what's safest for the driver," Carey said.  

The AAA Foundation's Dr. David Yang says "the right time to stop driving varies for everyone and with early discussion, and proper planning, elderly drivers may extend their time on the road.