Older Driver Safety Awareness Week
Older Driver Safety Awareness Week (ODSAW), December 5-9, 2022, is an opportunity for older drivers, law enforcement professionals, state driver licensing agency professionals, medical professionals, and family members and caregivers to shine a spotlight on older driver safety and the actions we all can take to contribute to a safer community.
Something we all can do is educate others about the importance of older driver safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic fatalities among drivers aged 65 and older increased by 14% in 2021 as compared to 2020.1
Professionals can find older driver safety facts and figures through databases such as the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), the National Center of Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), the Fatality and Injuring Reporting System Tool (FIRST), and State Traffic Safety Information (STSI). These databases are created and maintained by the Department of Transportation and NHTSA.
Each day 10,000 people are joining the over-65 age group in the United States.2 As the older driver demographic continues to grow, knowing what you can do to contribute to older driver safety is increasingly important to maintaining traffic safety in our communities. ChORUS created a senior center presentation to directly inform older drivers about crash statistics in the United States, the impact of traffic safety on their health, their alternative transportation options, and other resources that can help them with their transportation planning.
Whether a caregiver, medical professional, law enforcement officer, worker at the state driver licensing agency, or provider of other services to older adults, there is a role for each of us. For example, a caregiver can talk with the older driver in their life about developing a safe driving plan and helping them find alternative transportation in their community. Medical professionals can learn to identify medically at-risk drivers and decrease risk through interventions. Law enforcement officers can take additional training to learn how to help older drivers and use assessment tools during routine traffic stops. A person who works at a state driver licensing agency can have ChORUS handouts ready to distribute to customers who might benefit from this information.
The Clearinghouse for Older Road User Safety (ChORUS) is dedicated to promoting older road user traffic safety and uses the ODSAW campaign as an opportunity to promote high-quality resources to help professionals when they take action to enhance older road user safety. For ODSAW22, ChORUS created several resources you can use to increase awareness. These resources include patient questionnaires, handouts, lobby slides, sample press releases, and infographics to use in public areas or promote online. In addition, refer to the Beyond ODSAW page, which offers ideas and tools for keeping older driver safety top-of-mind throughout the year.