The California Highway Patrol (CHP) joins the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in recognizing December 3-7, 2018, as Older Driver Safety Awareness Week.

According to the AOTA, with increasing age come changes in physical, mental, and sensory abilities that can challenge a person’s continued ability to drive safely.  Family and friends play a major role in identifying changes in driving behavior and beginning discussions about older driver safety.  It is important to start these conversations early and discuss any needed changes in driving habits before it becomes a problem, allowing older drivers to be actively involved in the planning.

“Driving also means independence and the thought of losing that can be troublesome for many,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said.  “As a friend or family member, having the discussion with an aging driver about how long it is safe for them to continue driving can be difficult, but it is necessary.”

Last year, more than 3,400 fatal collisions were recorded in California.  Preliminary data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System indicates drivers aged 65 and older were involved in 13.5 percent of the fatal collisions in California in 2017.