AGING AND HIGHWAY SAFETY: THE ELDERLY IN A MOBILE SOCIETY

Though science has provided the means for prolonging life, little is being done to improve the quality of life for the elderly in our youth-oriented culture. This symposium focused on the problems of the elderly driver and pedestrian. Though aging drivers have a higher accident rate than middle-aged drivers, consideration must be given to the fact that elderly persons drive much less frequently. Their accident rate is not as critical as that of drivers under 25 years of age. Though he is more cautions than the younger driver, the elderly driver is more likely to be injured in an accident. Since vision and hearing deteriorate with age, traffic signs should be designed to accommodate errors caused by elderly persons. Neural deficiencies occur more often than do faults related to poor judgement. It is felt that aging drivers are interested in enhancing their safety and would be receptive to a program of safe driving practices. The elderly must be equipped to handle the increased complexity of highways today, and must be made aware of the possible effects of medications on their performance. Improved public transportation would be a factor in reducing accidents among elderly persons. Another possibility is a multiphasic driving exam for any "problem class" of drivers. Vision, hearing and sensory motor functioning would be rapidly screened, and then driving skills and knowledge would be tested. Such measures as these are essential if elderly persons are to maintain their independence and self-respect.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Conference held at Raleigh, North Carolina, 17-18 October 1972.
  • Corporate Authors:

    North Carolina State University, Raleigh

    Raleigh, NC  United States  27695
  • Authors:
    • Waller, P F
  • Publication Date: 1973

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00081503
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Highway Safety Research Institute
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 6 1975 12:00AM