The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released a report stating that by 2025, the number of drivers aged 65 and older will amount to 25 percent of drivers in the U.S. — a potential driving safety issue that states like Maryland might not be fully prepared to handle. Of note:
> Most states’ driver licensing systems and alternative mobility/transportation programs are not adequate to handle an influx of older drivers on the roads — drivers who may have medical or functional impairments (e.g., related to visual perception, speed of processing, navigation and maneuvering) and/or be on medications.
As any experienced Towson car accident injury attorney will attest — no one is a perfect driver. However, certain groups of drivers such as teenagers and senior citizens have special considerations when it comes to driving safety and avoiding serious traffic accidents in Baltimore County, Maryland and around the state.
According to the AAA Foundation…
> A majority of drivers older than age 55 are unaware that medications and driving don’t always mix — despite 78 percent of those surveyed stating they’re on medication. Some prescription medications can slow down drivers’ response times when the unexpected happens on the road. Failure to safely brake or avoid a traffic accident due to impaired driving can lead to serious personal injury such as head and brain trauma, as well as death on Maryland highways and roads.
> 35% of drivers feel less safe on the roads than they did 5 years ago, largely due to the problem of distracted driving — people talking on cell phones and texting while driving. It is unknown how a large influx of aging Baby Boomer drivers onto Maryland highways and streets will play into this already hazardous driving mix.
The AAA Foundation is working with states to help them prepare for more senior citizens on our roads and highways. Health care and law enforcement personnel may have roles to play in ensuring that seniors can drive safely and not pose a hazard to themselves or other drivers in Maryland and elsewhere in the U.S.
U.S. Safety and Mobility Crisis Looms for Aging Baby Boomers,
AAA Foundation Warns (PDF)
Press Release, collected June 15, 2010
Large Majority of Drivers 55+ Unaware of Potentially Dangerous Combination of Medications and Driving, Says New AAA Foundation Study
Press Release Aug. 11, 2009
Distracted Driving the Top Reason that 35 Percent of Drivers Feel Less Safe than Five Years Ago, According to the AAA Foundation
Press Release July 27, 2009
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