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Talking to an older loved one about staying safe on the road

As the child of an older motorist or as a senior citizen yourself, you may have wondered how long you or your loved one will be able to continue driving safely.

According to a recent study, there were approximately 14 million accidents involving motorists aged 65 and above during the last year across the country. 

Of course, deciding for yourself that you should no longer drive or having the conversation with a loved one is a difficult step to take. In fact, the same survey — conducted by Caring.com — found that 40 percent of the respondents would rather talk to their loved one about planning their funeral or selling their house than about whether they should stop driving.

While people are avoiding such conversations, however, the statistics are getting worse. In 2012, the number of people over the age of 65 who died in a motor vehicle accident rose 16 percent from the year before, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Researchers have taken note of this trend and are working to help police officers know what to look for when they have pulled over an older motorist. The researchers — from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine — have started a training program for law enforcement officers, in which they instruct the officers about specific warnings signs to be aware of with older motorists.

In addition, the researchers are suggesting that doctors should be involved in the process. If a medical professional has concerns about an older person’s ability to drive, he or she should address the issue to ensure the roads are as safe as possible. 

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San Diego, CA 92101

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