At any age, we need to ask ourselves: Am I a safe driver?
Driving is a privilege which provides independence and empowerment; something we all want to experience forever. We also want to be responsible and safe drivers, protecting ourselves and others on the road.
As we age our ability to sense, decide and act can be affected. Over the last five years DRIVE SMART Seniors program has provided older drivers with tools and resources to help them continue to drive as safely as possible for as long as possible.
One way in which DRIVE SMART addresses this is through CarFit®, a national program developed by AAA, AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association. This program is designed to give a quick, yet comprehensive, assessment of how well older drivers and their vehicles work together. During a 20-minute DRIVE SMART CarFit® with the driver in their personal car, trained technicians complete a 12-point checklist to include assessments of:
- Correct positioning of the driver’s seat
- Driver’s ability to easily reach pedals
- Proper adjustment of mirrors
CarFit® provides older adults with the tools to understand and apply the safety features of their personal car. DRIVE SMART delivers these tools to seniors throughout the Denver Metro, Boulder, and Mountain Corridor areas.
Safety on the Road
DRIVE SMART Seniors program provides older drivers with tools and resources to help them continue to drive as safely as possible for as long as possible. As uncomfortable as it may be to consider, there will come a time for all drivers when it is no longer safe to drive. With early planning and education senior drivers may actually extend their time on the road.
DRIVE SMART Seniors introduces the Safety on the Road seminar created with mature drivers in mind. This 45-minute seminar will provide information to senior drivers, their families and their caregivers on topics such as defensive driving and Colorado motor vehicle laws, as well as updates on rules of the road and the effects that medication, fatigue, alcohol, visual or auditory limitations may have on a person’s driving ability. In addition, strategies to help plan for ‘driving retirement’ will be discussed and shared amongst the attendees. This important exchange will be followed up with a conversation of driving alternatives and options which will continue to allow for ‘retired drivers’ to enjoy an independent, healthy and safe lifestyle.
AAA Road Wise Driver – roadwiserx.com
AAA Senior Driving – seniordriving.aaa.com
AARP Driver Safety – www.aarp.org
Clearinghouse for Older Road User Safety – roadsafeseniors.org
Denver Regional Mobility & Access Council (DRMAC) – drmac-co.org
DriveSafe Driving School – drivesafecolorado.com
Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging – colorado.gov/agingstrategy