Californians Urged to Spot Early Indicators of Risky Elderly Drivers

May 11, 2010

Stubbornness, aggressive behavior and forgetfulness could be clues that an aging motorist may need to curb their driving, according to the Insurance Information Network of California.

IINC is advising the insurance industry that identifying early warnings could save a life. In 2008, more than 4,600 seniors aged 70 years and up died in auto accidents, and according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motor vehicle crash deaths increase dramatically for drivers older than 70 years of age.

“In California, more than 2.5 million seniors carry driver’s licenses — and that number is expected to balloon in the coming years,” said IINC Executive Director Candysse Miller. “To recognize Older Americans Month, we should help senior drivers evaluate their skills behind the wheel.”

Signs that could indicate a driver may be a risk behind the wheel include:

  • Driving too fast, too slow or tailgating.
  • Behavioral changes including shortened attention span.
  • Physical handicaps such as reduced vision and hearing.
  • Dents or scratches on their car.

Some seniors will act on their own to limit nighttime driving or give up their keys entirely. Others may not be as accepting. In these instances, several online resources available from the American Association of Retired People, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety could help older drivers become aware of driving deficiencies.

IINC is a non-profit and non-lobbying trade association dedicated to helping the public understand insurance and manage risk.

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