Elderly drivers are the fastest growing segment of the driving population. Your aging parents continue to proclaim their competence, but you need to learn what hazards to watch for. Watch this video that illustrates what's at stake.
One reporter Susan Magee Hickey, who drove in the a senior tested a senior simulator suit for driving, describes the experience this way,
put 40 to 50 pounds of weights on me to restrict my movements, and to
simulate arthritic knees and hands and back problems. That’s not to
mention the visually impairing eyewear, that caused me to lose center
vision and leave me with nothing but peripheral vision.
the incredibly tough job of getting into the car, putting on my seat
belt and adjusting my mirrors, then came the scary part."
Melton, who conducted the simulation for Liberty Mutual went on to
describe the true dangers. “Imagine an emergency occurs – you’ve got to
get to the gas and the brake almost instantaneously.With the restricted
mobility we’ve given you, it’s tough to do.”
observed, "Of course, not all seniors are as impaired as I was, but
drivers over 65 have the second-highest number of car accidents, right
The "National Conversation Drive"
launched by Liberty Mutual kicked off in Chicago. There they added a
feature that helped others understand the challenges of elder eyesight.
"The simulator suit people tried on in Chicago on Tuesday, designed to make a person feel between 75 and 85, was topped off with impairment eyeglasses. One pair mimicked the blurred vision associated with cataracts, another simulated macular degeneration, which causes a loss of central vision."
Now you know why it's essential to start talking to aging parents about their driving as soon as possible, well before there's a real crisis. Learn the best ways to approach senior drivers.