The face of America is slowly changing – it is becoming older. Statistics tell us that by the year 2030 over 20 percent of the nation’s population will be over the age of 65.
Partially a result of the baby boom generation as well as advances in medicine that allow people to live longer, this shift in the age of the nation also means that more older drivers will be behind the wheel on the nation’s roadways.
Unfortunately, older drivers are at a significantly higher risk for being injured or killed in a collision. Studies tell us that drivers over the age of 65 are 17 times more likely to be fatally injured in a car crash.
Some states have enacted laws that are aimed at older drivers. In Missouri, for example, drivers over the age of 70 must renew their license every three years instead of the standard six year renewal period.
If you plan to continue driving well into your golden years, consider the following tips that may keep you safer on the roadways:
- Enroll in a refresher driving course aimed at older drivers.
- Avoid driving during rush hour
- Don’t drive at night or on poorly lit roads
- Use a “3 second rule” instead of a “2 second rule” to increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you in case you need to stop suddenly
- Stay physically active
- Have a yearly physical as well as a hearing and vision test done
- Be sure to manage chronic illnesses such as diabetes
- Know your limits, remain patient, and plan plenty of time to reach your destination
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