Lansing, MI - If you have an aging driver in the household, you’re not alone. In Michigan, residents age 65 and older represent the fastest-growing segment of the state’s driving population.
To highlight the issues surrounding aging drivers, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson urges residents to observe “Older Driver Safety Awareness Week,” beginning Dec. 2. This nationally recognized event has been organized to promote the understanding of the mobility and transportation issues that affect older adults, such as how to assist drivers who can still drive safely and how to prevent transportation concerns from becoming a barrier that keeps seniors isolated at home.
“Everyone benefits when older drivers are safe," Benson said. “I encourage all Michiganders to visit the Safe Drivers Smart Options website for information and support about maintaining safety, mobility and activity for aging drivers and their loved ones and communities."
During Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, residents are invited to explore a different topic each day related to aging and driving, with their family, friends and professionals in their community:
- Monday, Dec. 2: Anticipating Changes That Can Affect Driving
- Tuesday, Dec. 3: Family Conversations
- Wednesday, Dec.4: Screening and Evaluations with an Occupational Therapist
- Thursday, Dec. 5: Interventions That Can Empower Drivers
- Friday, Dec. 6: Staying Engaged in the Community with or without a Car
Older drivers, families and friends can begin the discussion by visiting the state’s Safe Drivers Smart Options: Keys to Lifelong Mobility website at Michigan.gov/AgingDriver.
The website is a statewide response to the need for information on this important and challenging subject. It was developed through a collaboration of public and private agencies as a much-needed strategy to promote safety and mobility for Michigan's aging adults.
Recognized for excellence by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the website provides accessible information and resources for drivers, their families and the professionals who work with them. Among the website’s many resources are:
- Older driver self-assessment driving tools and videos
- Links to driver refresher courses and other community supports for older drivers
- Information about how medications and health problems may affect driving and lists of resources available to drivers once they stop driving
- Strategies for initiating conversations about when and how to transition to a non-driving lifestyle
- Procedures for referring an unsafe driver for a driver reexamination
- Information about the aspects of aging and how best to interact with older residents for audiences such as law enforcement, healthcare and other professionals