Monday, September 12, 2011

Pedestrian Safety is Important to Everyone – Just Ask Reese Witherspoon

Heading out for a morning jog may be more than just a lap around the neighborhood.  Ask Reese Witherspoon who was hit by a car and ended up taking a trip to the hospital instead of completing her run. This incident is important to two reasons. First it is a reminder for many of us that we share the roads with cars, bikes, and joggers. And second, it draws our attention to senior mobility and driving because the driver of the car that hit Witherspoon was 84-years-old.
Sharing the road is the responsibility of everyone – the driver, jogger, cyclists and others. Here are some helpful hints to keep in mind as you head out:

  • SHARE THE ROAD – be aware that drivers are not the only road users. Watch out for walkers, joggers, bicyclists and motorcycles.
  • OBEY TRAFFIC PATTERNS – know the rules of the road and obey them.
  • BE VISIBLE – whether you are a SUV or a jogger make yourself visible to others.

Seniors already make up a large portion of the driving public, and this demographic is continuing to grow. Did you know that by 2025, people aged 65 and older will account for 25 percent of U.S. drivers?  As America ages,  we need to address the challenges of keeping motorists driving for as long as safely possible and ensuring adequate mobility for those that can no longer drive.  That’s why Roadwise Review and Posit Science’s DriveSharp program are such great resources.

The AAA Foundation does not believe that anybody should have their car keys taken away simply because they reach a certain age. Instead, states should have a fair and comprehensive system to screen all drivers applying for new or renewed licenses to ensure they are medically and functionally fit to drive through procedures, such as eye exams and in-person renewal. 

If you are facing the decision with a loved one about when to stop driving, visit www.seniordriving.aaa.com for helpful information about how to deal with the very personal and often difficult challenges related to senior driving.

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