SENIORS: British Columbians anxious about the safety of senior drivers: survey
With the BC Stats agency projecting the number of seniors to rise by nearly 30% over the next few decades, the BC Automobile Association’s (BCAA) new Senior Driver Survey shows that British Columbians are worried about the safety of aging drivers in their lives and struggling to have those challenging conversations.
To help, BCAA introduced in the spring its Senior Driver Toolkit, an online resource to keep senior drivers safe on the road.
The survey, conducted recently by Insights West, revealed that 72% of British Columbians are concerned about the safety of senior drivers. Most alarmingly, many respondents who have a mature driver in their lives feel anxious whenever their loved one gets behind the wheel (32%) and feel powerless about how to keep their aging driver safe on the road (38%).
“People are worried each time their aging loved one gets into the car to drive but they don’t know what to do,” said BCAA’s Mark Donnelly in a press release. “The good news is that everyone cares about road safety. They just don’t know how to begin the conversation. This is an important issue and will become even more important as more drivers age in this province. BCAA wants to help.”
While most British Columbians (69%) feel road safety would improve if families and their senior driver discussed safe driving, 63% have not talked to an aging family member about their driving. Nearly half of those respondents (41%) don’t know how to approach their loved one to have that conversation.
BCAA’s new web tool, located at bcaa.com/seniordrivers, incorporates information from the Canadian Medical Association’s Driver’s Guide and Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. The toolkit provides families with advice, a conversation guide and a video that helps them in their discussions. The web tool provides senior drivers with easy-to-follow assessment tools and videos with tips on how to manage challenging driving conditions.
• 94% of senior drivers have taken at least one step to adjust their driving habits to stay safe, including: no longer driving at night, avoiding high traffic hours and getting regular eye and hearing exams.
• 71% of respondents, including senior drivers, say more education on road safety for aging drivers is needed.
• 42% of respondents who have a senior driver in their lives say they don’t have enough information to know whether their aging loved one is able to drive safely.
• 38% admit they don’t know what signs to look out for that may indicate the mature driver in their life is having trouble driving safely.
• 54% of senior drivers indicate they’re concerned about the safety of drivers in their age group.
• 10% of senior drivers talked to a loved one about their driving safety.
• 5% of senior drivers have discussed ways to change their driving habits with their doctor or family member.
• 87% of senior drivers are open to getting information and advice on how to drive safely.