News and articles from the Ohio Department of Aging.
State agencies partner to share tips, resources to prevent older driver crashes
Columbus, Ohio – Because being able to get around in the community is critical for older Ohioans to remain independent and healthy, the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Department of Transportation are partnering to increase awareness of available resources for older drivers during Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, Dec. 3-7, 2018.
Drivers age 65 and older represent the fastest-growing segment of licensed drivers in Ohio and across the nation. While older drivers are among the safest drivers on our roads, they may be more likely to be seriously injured in a crash. Ohio has seen four consecutive years of rising traffic deaths involving drivers age 65 and older.
“The ability to get around safely in their neighborhoods allows older Ohioans to continue to feel connected and access opportunities to contribute to their communities,” said Beverley Laubert, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “To maintain their mobility, older Ohioans should become aware of their changing abilities, understand the factors that can increase the risk of a crash and learn about resources in their communities to maintain their driving ability or find alternatives to driving.”
“There are many state and local programs and resources that can help older Ohio drivers stay safe on the road, as well as find alternatives to driving if they feel they can no longer do so safely,” added Jerry Wray, director of the Ohio Department of Transportation. “Doing so not only helps them maintain their independence, but also reduces risks to themselves and others.”
Normal aging may increase common risk factors for roadway accidents, including changes in vision, hearing, strength, visibility, reflexes and memory. Medical conditions and certain medications also may impact the ability to drive safely. Older drivers also may drive older vehicles that no longer fit their needs (e.g., too big or too small, or seats, steering wheel and mirrors do not adjust sufficiently). Finally, a fear of driving and traffic can increase the risk of a crash.
Department of Aging Director Beverley Laubert talks older driver safety on ODOT's "The Loop" Dec. 7, 2018
Tips for older driver safety:
The Ohio Department of Aging offers a webpage (www.aging.ohio.gov/transportation) of transportation and driving tips and resources for older adults. The page includes a link to “Stay Fit to Drive,” a publication of the Ohio Department of Transportation that includes statistics about older driver crashes and tips to reduce key risk factors.
National Awareness Week: "We Need to Talk", from December 3rd through the 7th. Kelly Birnbrich, long-time occupational therapist, and now geriatric care manager at Positive Senior Solutions, LLC, has been trained to present these educational seminars that AARP and AOTA (the American Occupational Therapy Association) have put together with Hartford Insurance. Additionally, Kelly has received certified dementia practitioner training, and is also nationally certified to provide adult vision screenings.The following classes are FREE and open to the public, but RSVP's are required for attendance. You may reserve your spot by calling (614) 467-4677, or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org/19/18 @ The Main Library: 6:30-8:00 PM: "We Need to Talk"12/3/18 @ The Northside Library: 6:30-8:00 PM: "Anticipating Changes That Can Affect Driving"12/4/18 @ The Hilliard Library: 6:30-8:00 PM: "Family Conversations"12/5/18 @ The Karl Road Library: 6:30-8:00 PM: "Screening and Evaluations With an OT12/6/18 @ The New Albany Library from 7:00-8:30 PM: "Interventions That Can Empower Drivers and Families"12/7/18 @ The Whetstone Library from 4:00-5:30 PM: "Staying Engaged in the Community with or without a Car"
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Ohio Department of Aging