NEW YORK (WWTI) — Older Driver Safety Awareness Week starts on December 6 in an effort to promote the importance of older adults remaining mobile in order to be active members of the community.
In honor of the week, AAA released several ways older drivers can remain safe while behind the wheel. According to research from the company, daily exercise and stretching can help older individuals improve overall body flexibility and move freely so they can observe the road from all angles.
Additionally, the research showed that physical strength also helps drivers remain alert to potential hazards on the road and perform essential driving functions. This includes braking, steering, parking, looking to the side and rear, adjusting safety belts, and sitting for long periods of time.
AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research Jake Nelson explained in the press release that even non-intensive physical exercise can make a big difference.
“Some decline in physical fitness is inevitable as we age,” Nelson said. “But, research shows that exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to produce positive results. You can spread out the time you spend being physically active over the course of your day and week. A few minutes at a time can be sufficient. Simple steps to keep active can keep you driving safely for longer.”
AAA also said it’s important that older drivers look into receiving a professional driving assessment to ensure they can still safely operate a vehicle. They encouraged residents who are concerned their driving skills have diminished, have been diagnosed with a medical condition, or have been involved with an increased amount of accidents to take advantage of these resources.