December 5-9, 2022, was Older Driver Safety Awareness Week and reminds us of the importance of safe driving for older adults. It is also vital to know what options are available in your community for transportation in case health or safety issues arise. In 2020, there were more than 55.7 million people 65 years and older in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Older drivers (65+) tend to be safe drivers but they are also a highly at-risk population. People 65 and older made up 17% of all traffic fatalities in 2020 (National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 2022, July).
Many changes to cognitive, physical, and visual capabilities occur naturally as people age, which contribute to multiple factors impacting older adult safety on the roads. As people age at their own pace, seniors need to be mindful when they are feeling uncomfortable driving under certain conditions, or at night for example. Some folks may drive well into their 70’s or 80’s before they need to make changes in their driving habits. Others, however, may experience medical conditions such as early-onset Alzheimer’s or visual impairment which can impact safe drivers at age 65 or even younger.
Interlakes Community Caregivers (ICCI) is one program that can help provide transportation to adults 18 years and older who live in Meredith, Moultonborough, Center Harbor or Sandwich – free of charge. ICCI’s mission is to support the independence, safety, comfort and dignity of our adult Neighbors within our designated communities through services provided by our volunteers. Access to transportation is key, especially in rural areas such as central New Hampshire so older adults can remain active in their community. Check out the Clearinghouse
On Older Road User Safety (ChORUS) for winter driving tips and more safe driving information at https://www.roadsafeseniors.org/. Contact ICCI at www.interlakescares.org or call 603-253 -9100 for information about becoming a Neighbor or 603-253-9275 for general information.