Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Is It Time for "The Talk"?

The day is coming faster than I want it to come.

I'll have to sit her down and have "the talk."

It will be awkward. I'm going to stumble over my words. I'll need to be ready for any emotional outbursts. But it's all a part of life and I have to accept that.

"Mom," I'll say. "How do you feel about your driving? Do you think you're still a safe motorist?"

She's already cut back on her nighttime driving. It makes her uncomfortable. So her friends or one of my family members take the wheel instead.

The day she hands over the keys for good will be tough on this very independent lady, but she sees it coming, too.

"The last thing I want," she says, "is to hurt someone because I caused a crash."

Older drivers are the subject of a MoDOT-sponsored gathering this week. Experts from around the state will discuss the road safety needs of our aging population.

On their minds is this fact: Although drivers 65 and older account for eight percent of all miles driven, they comprise 17 percent of traffic fatalities.

We've got a lot of company in addressing the issues. A report released today from TRIP, a transportation research group, describes the efforts of state departments of transportation to address older drivers.

TRIP reports that the growing ranks of older Americans "will far outpace previous generations with their level of ability and activity. Serving their needs will require a transportation system that includes safer roads, safer vehicles and improved choices."

Visit now and in the months to learn more and to find tools to help older drivers you know and love.


Clark Heintz Tools & Equipment LLC said...

I am the owner of an automotive equipment business in NH and found this blog interesting. NH doesn’t require drivers to have insurance and is the only state without a seat belt law for adults. But for decades, NH has required elderly residents to take a road test if they want to keep their driver’s license. This is not only sensible, but is a helpful tool for the children of elderly drivers who dread having "the talk." Thank you for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Missouri should require ALL drivers to AT MINIMUM read an article on the new driving rules/circumstances when they renew. This especially affects older drivers. Eg: many people just do not understand them, causing mass stupidity and frustration. And: the new change to the left lane bridges. That would increase everyone's safety for not much money (a laminated article could be available at license bureaus. We need to test older drivers...not sure at what age, but what do statistics say? And with night vision problems, can you test for it and limit to daylight only driving?

Anonymous said...

It would help if signs were more legible & more advance notice could be given for intersections & exits. Also, Missouri needs a large print map like the Illinois map.

bethvonbehren said...

Where and when is the workshop mentioned in the "MoDOT Express Lane" e-newsletter? The link was to this blog post, but I don't see anything about the workshop.

MoDOT said...

The workshop was held in late February.

55 alive said...

senior drivers are more likely to receive traffic citations and get into accidents than younger drivers b'cuz senior drivers are often viewed as a hazard on the roads. Statistics show a rise of fatalities, traffic violations and serious injuries caused by senior citizens that should not be driving.

Road accidents caused by older drivers is growing every year and so do the challenges.

In support of Driver Safety Program - lets us bring awareness in senior citizen drivers about mature driver improvement course or 55 alive driving course to improve driving skills on road, refresh their driving knowledge and updates them on latest traffic rules and regulation that help keep older drivers and their families safe behind the wheel.