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Older Driver Safety - www.nysgts

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									                 Diane Wigle
                 Chief, Safety Countermeasures Division
                 National Highway Traffic Safety
                 Administration
                 World Traffic Safety Symposium
                 New York International
                 Automobile Show

March 28, 2008
Change in Demographics

       Population Pyramids of United States
           Percent of Total Population
        2000                           2020
Male             Female     Male              Female
    Strategies to Address
     Older Driver Safety

   Communications Outreach
   Licensing
   Traffic Law Enforcement
Educate
  and
 Train
Drivers
  and
Those
Around
 Them
Help Drivers Adapt to
Functional Limitations
        Identify Drivers
    Who Cannot Drive Safely
    Starts with families, physicians, and
     older drivers themselves
    California three-tier program
    Working to improve scientific basis behind
     licensing decisions
    Establish or improve State Medical Advisory
     Boards (MABs)
    License renewal policies
    Can’t rest solely on licensing because they only
     see drivers once each year at best, or in some
     cases, never unless they are referred
Increase Seat Belt Use

   Older people are more prone to severe
    injuries or death than younger people
   Preventing injuries from crashes can
    improve the odds for survival
   Seat belts are the most effective tool
    for preventing injuries
   Role of law enforcement is critical
    here – Click It or Ticket applies to
    everyone.
   Caregivers who are transporting older
    people as passengers need to ensure
    seat belts are used on every trip.
NHTSA Partners
Developing New Strategies

NHTSA has a long history of exploring
  ways to improve older driver safety
Among other things, we are looking at:
     Determining Fitness-to-Drive in Early Stage
      Dementia
     Evaluating and Rehabilitating Driving Skills
     Evaluating Safety Outcomes of Different
      Licensing Policies and Procedures
                    Summary
Application of strategies to save lives and prevent
  injuries does not rest with any single group
We need to:
      i. Educate and train drivers and those around them;
      ii. Help drivers adapt to functional limitations;
      iii. Identify drivers who cannot drive safely
      iv. Increase seat belt use and
      v. Keep looking for ways to improve what we have.
If all people that influence older driver safety play their
  roles (families, physicians, DMVs, law enforcement, and
  older drivers themselves), we won’t see the increases in
  fatalities that we fear.
www.nhtsa.gov

								
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