Older Driver Safety Awareness Week Tips and Resources

Older Driver Safety Awareness Week Tips and Resources

(SEMCOG, Dec. 6, 2021)

SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, joins the State of Michigan in recognizing December 6-10 is National Older Driver Safety Awareness week, and drivers and residents of all ages should take this opportunity to educate themselves on the best and safest ways to encourage maintained mobility for older residents.

SEMCOG’s Regional Forecast projects that the number of people age 65 and older will grow substantially, by 67% from 2015 to 2045. After years of steadily increasing crashes, older-driver involvement is one of the only areas from the region’s Traffic Safety Plan that decreased in number of crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries in 2020. Increased risk of COVID among seniors and few options for nonessential trips in 2020 likely contributed to this decrease. Despite this recent drop-off, the long-term demographic trends show that share of crashes involving older drivers is also likely to grow.

“Like most of the country, a large portion of Southeast Michigan’s population is facing decisions about adjusting lifelong mobility habits,” said Amy O’Leary, Executive Director of SEMCOG. “For aging drivers and their family members, it is never too soon to start planning for a smooth transition.”

Michigan residents can learn more about the topics related to aging and driving on the state’s Safe Driver Smart Options website. The website was designed for easy navigation and offers robust resources and information to help aging driver remain mobile and independent including:

  • Older driver self-assessment driving tools and videos
  • Links to driver refresher courses and other community supports for older drivers
  • Information about how medications and health problems may affect driving and lists of resources available to drivers once they stop driving
  • Strategies for initiating conversations about when and how to transition to a non-driving lifestyle
  • Procedures for referring an unsafe driver for a driver reexamination
  • Information about the aspects of aging and how best to interact with older residents for audiences such as law enforcement, healthcare, and other professionals

Aging drivers, their families and professionals who care for them are encouraged to explore different topics every day during National Older Driver Safety Awareness Week:

  • Monday, Dec. 6: Anticipating Changes That Can Affect Driving
  • Tuesday, Dec. 7: Family Conversations
  • Wednesday, Dec.8: Screening and Evaluations with an Occupational Therapist
  • Thursday, Dec. 9: Interventions That Can Empower Drivers
  • Friday, Dec. 10: Staying Engaged in the Community With or Without a Car

For more information and resources about aging drivers, visit the Safe Drivers Smart Options website. More safety tips are also available on the Walk.Bike.Drive. Safe website, have been developed based on safety emphasis areas identified in the Southeast Michigan Traffic Safety Plan.

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