New Study Shows Seniors Are Driving More

June  19, 2014

       Seniors are spending more time behind the wheel. A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says one in six drivers is 65 and older. From 1990 to 2009, people that age put in 33% more miles behind the wheel.

      Bruce Hamilton, research and marketing manager, says recent data show seniors are living and working longer than they did thirty years ago. 

      "There's this sort of myth out there that people are retiring in droves to Arizona and Florida. Actually, they tend to be aging in place and they age in the communities where they need to drive to get to the pharamacy and the grocery stores and other places they need to go. But as the studies show, there are medical concerns and medication usage concerns that could make driving more difficult."

      The study shows income and gender affect driving habits, too. For example, men with a medical condition are more likely to drive than women without a medical condition; and women with higher incomes are more likely to drive than other women.  Using the results, Hamilton says the AAA Foundation will track 3000 drivers, ages 65 and older, for the next five to ten years. 

      "All with the goal of getting a solid picture--you know, in 2014 to 2020, let's say-- of how older people go through the aging process as it relates to driving and what decisions they make that can help prolong their safe driving careers and  then stay mobile even after they can no longer drive."

      AAA currently offers an online tool, called Roadwise RX, for drivers to list all their medications and conditions. Seniors can also use interactive tools to test memory, head and neck flexibility, and night vision. 


(Photo courtesy of AAA Foundation).