With the approaching holiday season – a time of travel and spending time with family – the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is actively supporting the independence of the most experienced drivers on the road. The CHP is joining with the American Occupation Therapy Association to recognize Dec. 7-11, 2015, as Older Driver Safety Awareness Week.
“Older Driver Safety Awareness Week aims to promote understanding of the importance of roadway safety and to ensure older adults remain active in the community,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “Whether shopping, working, or volunteering, older adults should be confident that transportation will not be a barrier that keeps them at home.”
Almost 15 percent, or 3,637,160, of the licensed drivers in California are 65 or older. Data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System showed 24,227 drivers aged 65 or older were involved in fatal or injury collisions in California in 2013. Of those collisions, 233 older drivers were at fault in fatal collisions and 11,788 older drivers were at fault in injury collisions.
“Drivers age 65 and older may have a better overall safety record than other age groups, but they often face challenges with continued mobility,” Commissioner Farrow added. “Holiday gatherings can be a good time to discuss how older drivers can stay safe behind the wheel. Since this can sometimes be a difficult conversation, the CHP has created a program that may help.”
The CHP developed the Age Well, Drive Smart program to provide older drivers with the tools to remain safe on the road. The two-hour class is offered at no charge at local CHP offices and many senior centers to help seniors evaluate and improve their driving skills.
The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest levels of Safety, Service, and Security to people throughout the state. Offering Age Well, Drive Smart classes helps maintain and improve traffic safety and mobility for the state’s senior drivers.