Older Driver Safety Awareness Week

SALISBURY, Md.- Snow will be here sooner than you know it and people driving could face harsh conditions. As we get closer, people in the community are making sure, during Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, that older drivers take time to make sure they are still capable of driving safely.

“As cognitive impairment occurs and as cognitive abilities decline, drivers become less safe and often don’t realize that they are,” Carol Zimmerman, Project Director of Life Bridges Project, said.

“As folks get older unfortunately their cognitive functions and their ability to physically control the automobile can sometimes diminish and the best thing is for people to be self aware of that and know their own limitations,” Lt. Tim Robinson, with Wicomico County Sheriff’s Dept., said.

Although many can still drive safely, law enforcement said as a person ages things like loss of vision, hearing, and physical ability may be an obstacle that causes more accidents.

“We do see many instances where older drivers are involved in accidents at a rate higher than the average motoring public,” Lt. Robinson said.

While their ability to drive may not be top notch, it could especially be problematic during the winter months.

“The biggest danger during the winter months, is when there’s snow or ice on the road because that changes the whole dimension of driving,” Lt. Robinson said.

That’s why those like Zimmerman said even though it may bruise their ego, older drivers should talk to their physician about whether they should be driving.

“It’s not easy to put down those car keys, but when you think about the possible danger its so important,” Zimmerman said.

“Our advice to our older member of our community is if you feel that you may have an issue, go and speak to a doctor, speak to your health professional,” Lt. Robinson said.

Lt. Robinson also informed 47ABC that while driving during the winter people should slow down, leave plenty of space between yourself and other vehicles, and not be in a hurry.

If you want find more information on how older drivers can be safe and if they should be driving or not, you can head to the alz.org website to find out more.

Categories: Local News, Maryland