Driving in old age: guide for older drivers

Traffic is steadily increasing, cars are getting bigger, roads narrower. A challenge for seniors.

Driving in old age: Guide for older drivers

Car accidents involving seniors make headlines time and again. Whether older drivers are actually a danger at the wheel, however, must be considered from many angles. The most important information summarized:

  • The proportion of older drivers will increase in the coming years due to demographic change.
  • Younger drivers are more likely to be involved in car accidents than seniors.
  • Older drivers are more likely to succumb to their injuries in car accidents.

Many people think so: senior citizens are a danger at the wheel. In fact, for seniors, the risk of being involved in a traffic accident has increased by 28% since 1980. But that’s because more and more people are still mobile at an advanced age. Especially in rural areas, older people are increasingly dependent on their own car. Because of the demographic change more and more young people are moving away from the villages, while older people are being left behind. This means that important points of contact, such as doctors, are no longer available. Are increasingly difficult to reach. Many see the car as the only way to stay mobile.

Contrary to common belief, however, seniors are not the main risk group in traffic accidents. According to the Federal statistical office, 18 to 24 year olds are considered to be particularly at risk: In 2016, out of 100.000 inhabitants 1.041 young people. This more than doubles the average for the population as a whole. For seniors, on the other hand, the number is only 295.

The reason: young drivers are often inexperienced, but at the same time willing to take risks. Seniors, on the other hand, can look back on years of driving experience. They compensate for limitations in perception by prudent behavior. The statistics also show that seniors only very rarely commit traffic offenses such as driving at excessive speeds, drunk driving or reckless overtaking.

But if older drivers are involved in car accidents, they have a comparatively high risk of succumbing to their injuries. Because they are no longer as resistant, because muscle tissue, bones and joints break down with age. Perception in road traffic is also increasingly impaired. According to statistics, 67% of people over 64 are primarily to blame for car accidents. That’s why many insurers now charge a surcharge for seniors.

One thing is certain: demographic change means that the proportion of older drivers is continuing to rise. Revoking the driver’s license of senior citizens is not the solution. Instead, more attention needs to be paid to the needs of older drivers. This guide is intended to help.

Driving in old age: changing perceptions and physical limitations

Many people find it difficult to recognize their own physical changes. For a long time, they do not notice that their vision is getting worse. Or that they need more time for certain movements.

Driving safety training for seniors: overview of prices and providers

Many older drivers feel they can no longer cope with traffic. But with a driving safety course for seniors you will be fit for the road again. Here you can read all about the offers of the automobile clubs, the traffic guards and the TuV (technical inspection agency). And about refresher courses if you have not driven for a while.

Proactive countermeasures: making driving easier

Reactivity decreases with age. Mobility is also often limited. This makes many important movements in the car increasingly difficult, z. B. the shoulder view or braking. Strengthen your muscle groups and joints for driving with simple exercises at home.

Alternatives to driving

You no longer trust yourself to drive a car? Don’t worry, there are alternatives. Whether in long-distance, local or rural traffic: even older people can remain mobile today. Both private and public transport companies provide this service. Often they even offer special discounts for seniors.

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