Tuesday, December 7, 2010

AOTA Hosts Older Driver Awareness Week

Senior Safety & Mobility is one of the AAA Foundation’s four strategic focus areas of research; we understand how important this issue is for seniors, their families and roadway safety overall. That’s why I was pleased to hear that the American Occupational Therapist Association’s (AOTA) is hosting Older Driver Safety Awareness Week this week (Dec 6th-10th). The goal of the week is to “promote understanding of the importance of mobility and transportation to ensuring older adults remain active in the community—shopping, working or volunteering—with the confidence that transportation will not be the barrier to strand them at home.”

This description is very similar with the Foundation’s goals when it comes to promoting senior driver safety. It’s important that both older drivers and their families understand what resources are available to help address this sensitive topic. When a teenager gets his or her driver’s license it is a big step towards becoming an independent young adult. The opposite feeling can occurs with older drivers as many seniors feel their independence is being threatened when it comes to giving up the keys. However, driver training tools like DriveSharp can help seniors retain some abilities critical to safe driving and when the time does come to give up the keys, options such as Supplemental Transportation Programs (STP) are available. The Foundation offers several free resources including an online senior evaluation tool, Roadwise Review Online, and a searchable license policy database containing current licensing policies for seniors in each state. Also, we recently redesigned and updated our most popular older driver brochure, Drivers 65 Plus. All of these resources, along with other useful information regarding seniors, can be found at seniodrivers.org and through AAA’s new senior driver website AAASeniors.com

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