Online tools to help aging drivers stay safe on the roads

Online tools help elderly drivers stay safe

(NEWS CENTER) -- A study released last week showed Maine as one of the most dangerous states for senior drivers.

The study looked at weather, road infrastructure, and public transportation availability. 

Officials in Maine agree the state's rural setting keeps drivers on the road longer than they should be, but also say it isn't necessarily age that matters.

"Generally speaking, drivers 65 and up are safe drivers," AAA Northern New England spokesperson Pat Moody says teen drivers are still the most dangerous on the road; but there are a number of factors that come into play as we get older.

Vision and reaction time are obvious; but as we age, our metabolism slows and certain drugs we could take in our 20's or 30's will process much longer in our 70's. Even certain eye drops can cloud judgment. 

"About 8 out of 10 seniors 65 and up take some medication."

AAA offers online tools to help drivers self-assess their ability behind the wheel, or compare prescription drugs with over the counter medications and find out how the interact with each other.

Something as simple as Tylenol PM or eye drops can confuse an aging brain.

"I'm struck by all the people I see who have dementia and in early or later stages who have self restricted and stopped driving as they got worse," said Dr. Dan Onion of Family Medicine Institute, "about 10 percent don't."

He says most seniors are aware enough to know when it is no longer safe to be behind the wheel, and will stay away from driving in scenarios that make them uncomfortable.

But if you're unsure, he recommends both RoadWise and RoadWiseRX.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment