The California Highway Patrol (CHP) joins the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in recognizing Dec. 6 through 10, 2021, as Older Driver Safety Awareness Week.
The CHP is reminding the most experienced drivers on California’s roadways that officers are here to help keep them safe behind the wheel.
According to the AOTA, “We all experience physical and mental changes as we get older, even though they may be so gradual we barely notice them. Yet common changes like slower reaction time, night blindness, and pain and stiffness can have a big effect on our driving skills.”
Last year, there were more than 3,500 fatal crashes in California. Preliminary data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System indicates drivers aged 65 and older were involved in more than 13 percent of the fatal crashes in California in 2020.
“Decisions about an individual’s ability to drive should never be based on age alone,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “Since driving is a complex task that requires critical skills, self-evaluation of those skills is the key to remaining a safe driver as long as possible.”
The CHP offers a free, two-hour Age Well, Drive Smart course, which is designed to help California’s seniors drive safely for as long as possible. Through this program, seniors can sharpen their driving skills, refresh their knowledge of the rules of the road, and learn how to adjust to typical age-related changes. Contact the nearest CHP Area office for more information.