5 Ways to Improve Road Safety

An older woman is driving with an older man in the passenger seat. Both people are smiling and looking out the windshield.

Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among those 65-74 years old and are the second leading cause (after falls) among those 75-84 years old. In 2021, fatalities among drivers aged 65+ went up 14%.  How can we protect our older drivers on the roads?

Actively participating in local and state government’s efforts to build safety into transportation solutions is one step.  Building safety into transportation solutions can include how your community designs road systems, signage, stoplights and stop signs, bus routes, crosswalks, bike lanes, and other features that make all road users more visible and safer in traffic. 

Additionally, each of us can make sure that our driving behaviors enhance road safety for us and those around us.  Listed below are five ways we can individually increase our impact on road safety. 

  1. Know transportation is a vital part of an individual’s health. The ability and confidence to arrive safely to medical appointments, social outings, and errands is an important pillar of independence for older drivers. Staying safe as an older driver may involve adjusting driving habits. These could include only driving in the daytime, sticking to familiar routes, and planning out a new route ahead of time. Read more about safety changes you can make.
  2. Include traffic safety in conversations with older adults. Medical professionals may integrate driver safety into routine office visits. There are simple questionnaires that could prompt a conversation with the patient and indicate if additional screening is needed. Read more about integrating driving safety into patient visits.
  3. Promote traffic safety in your local area. This past December, ChORUS participated in Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. Although the event has passed, the resources are available year-round. The resources include social media messages, handouts, infographics, and more. Explore the Beyond ODSAW page to learn how to continue promoting driver safety throughout the year.
  4. Know when to talk to someone about their driving safety. Education and awareness play a major role in an individual’s transportation plan. Planning ahead will help ease the transition when an older driver needs to change their driving behaviors or give up the keys.
  5. Familiarize yourself with your local resources with the ChORUS My State Info page. Some of the available resources include local laws, state-specific older driver pages, and available alternative transportation.

The ChORUS Library is updated on a regular basis. Follow us on our Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on road user safety tools and tips.