Keeping seniors safe on the roads

ENGLEWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – Seniors are safe drivers compared to other age groups, since they often wear safety belts and observe speed limits.

However, seniors are more likely to be injured or killed in traffic crashes due to age-related vulnerabilities, such as more fragile bones, according to AAA.

The latest statistics from the Ohio Department of Public Safety show that in 2012, 6,311 drivers age 66 and over were injured on Ohio’s roads, while 136 were killed.

AAA is trying to cut down on that number with the CarFit program–inspectors were at the Englewood YMCA Wednesday.

They inspect elderly drivers’ habits and their cars.

“We look at blind spots, that’s a big one.  you know, with mature drivers, their mirrors are looking at their own vehicles and they don’t see the vehicles that are coming up alongside of them,” explains Cheryl Parker, AAA Corporate Public Affairs Manager.

They also check several other things such as, hand placement, closeness to steering wheel and headrest locations.

If you’re concerned about your elderly loved one, there are some warning signs.

“There might be an unexplained one-car fender-bender, dents that don’t really have a  good explanation, maybe you have blind spots, maybe that’s what causing you to have these minor fender-benders, that could end up being something major if you don’t make the right adjustments,” comments Parker.

Ruth Bursey will be 69 this year.  She found the check-up helpful.

“My mirrors, as far as reflecting on people being in back of me, making sure everything is clear, that was good,” comments Bursey.

She says her mother recently handed over her keys.

“I have a  mother that’s on medication and she just recently stopped driving, not too long ago and it does affect the driving.  She realized it was time to stop driving,” explains Bursey.

And elderly who no longer drive have another way to get around.

Miami Valley Ride Finder-dot-org provides both public and non-profit transportation to those in Montgomery, Greene, Miami and part of Warren County.

For more information, Contact the Area Agency on Aging 937 223-HELP (4357).

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