Page 13 - BusinessWest 2022 Senior Planning Guide
P. 13

Car Talk
 Caution Flags
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, more than 8,100 adults age 65 or older were killed in motor-vehicle crashes in 2018, the last year for which statistics are available. Another 212,000 seniors needed emergency care for non-fatal injuries. Seniors also perish in car accidents at a higher rate than other demographics:
Age 80 and older
Motor-vehicle deaths per 100,000 people
Age 65 and older
Motor-vehicle deaths per 100,000 people
Age 64 and younger
Motor-vehicle deaths per 100,000 people
Are You Worried About a Loved
One Getting Behind the Wheel?
ABy the National Institute on Aging
 re you worried about an older family mem- ber or friend driving? Sometimes, it can be hard for an older person to realize that he
or she is no longer a safe driver. You might want to observe the person’s driving skills. If it’s not pos- sible to observe the older person driving, look out for these signs:
• Multiple vehicle crashes, near-misses, and/or new dents in the car;
• Two or more traffic tickets or warnings within the last two years, and/or increases in car- insurance premiums because of driving issues;
• Comments from neighbors or friends about driving;
• Anxiety about driving at night;
• Health issues that might affect driving ability, including problems with vision, hearing, and/or movement;
• Complaints about the speed, sudden lane changes, or actions of other drivers; and
• Recommendations from a doctor to modify driving habits or quit driving entirely.
Having ‘the Talk’ About Driving
Talking with an older person about his or her
driving is often difficult. Here are some things that might help when having the talk.
• Be prepared. Learn about local services to help someone who can no longer drive. Identify the person’s transportation needs.
• Avoid confrontation. Use ‘I’ messages rather than ‘you’ messages. For example, say, “I am concerned about your safety when you are driving,” rather than, “you’re no longer a safe driver.”
• Stick to the issue. Discuss the driver’s skills,
Continued on page 34
“Sometimes, it can be
hard for an older person
to realize that he or she is no longer a safe driver. You might want to observe the person’s driving skills.”
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AUGUST 2022 33

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