Currently senior drivers represent 23.8 percent of the total driving population in our state. Persons aged 85 years older are the fastest growing demographic group in the United States with Florida ranking 2nd in the nation. By 2020, the over 65 population will double in Florida. For the age group over 75, fatalities could increase by 45% or more, which would exceed the DUI fatalities.
Suncoast Defensive Driving School, an industry leader in our area, recognizes the current and future needs of our senior driving population. The Adult Road Refresher Program is a valuable refresher or assessment program utilizing AAA Roadwise Review™ and a 1 hour in-car session.
All drivers should continually assess and re-assess driving skills, not just seniors. Drivers with declining skills of health problems often demonstrate the following signs:
- Difficulty moving into correct lane and centering in the lane
- Hesitation while making turns
- Trouble moving foot from gas pedal to brake pedal
- Trouble judging gaps in traffic on highway entrance or exits
- Hitting curbs when making right turns or backing up
- Parking difficulties
- Driving too fast or too slow for road and traffic conditions
- Failing to recognize hazardous situations
- Slow reactions to unexpected situations
- Scrapes or dents on car, garage and mailboxes
- Not using turning signals correctly, or at all
- More frequent close calls
Drivers ages 80 and older have higher crash death rates per mile driven than all but teen drivers (IIHS 2006). During 2005, most traffic fatalities involving older drivers occurred during the daytime (79%) and on weekdays (73%); 73% of the crashes involved another vehicle (NHTSA 2006).
- Unpredictable stopping in traffic
- Being warned or ticketed for moving violations
- Becoming more agitated or irritated while driving
- Difficultly with navigation
- Several fender benders
Basic questions relating to driver performance:
- Is the driver being honked at often?
- Does the driver fail to check left and then right at intersections?
- Does the driver exhibit a lack of confidence when driving in heavy traffic or high speeds?
- Does the driver exhibit frustration when confronted by too many road signs, signals, pedestrians and road signs?
- Does the driver have trouble turning their head to check blind spots or moving foot from gas pedal to brake pedal?
The above signs and questions might be helpful when discussing driving issues with family members, friends, and doctors.
Adult Road Refresher Program:
- Our Adult Road Refresher Program is the most comprehensive senior driving review available. It’s designed for the licensed senior driver seeking a refresher or assessment of behind the wheel performance and general driving health.
- A 1 hour session in our training car will identify strengths and weaknesses in practical road and driving situations.
- AAA Roadwise Review, a state-of-the-art, computer-based screening tool is now part of the Adult Road Refresher Program. Roadwise Review is a valuable tool to help seniors drive safely longer. The eight abilities assessed in Roadwise Review include those most correlated to crash risk among senior drivers:
- Leg Strength and General Mobility
- Head/Neck Flexibility
- High and Low Contrast Visual Acuity
- Working Memory
- Visualization of Missing Information
- Visual Search
- Useful Field of View
- Visual Information Processing Speed (UFOV®)
- Roadwise Review identifies potential problem areas and suggests ways to correct them. Just as an individual monitors their physical health, users of the tool can now measure changes in their driving health.
- The computer program and driving session are completed privately. A State Certified Instructor will come to your location, supplying both the training car and computer. Upon completion, you will receive feedback and suggestions through a computer printout and in car evaluation. All information is private and confidential.
INDUSTRY PARTNER PROGRAMS
Suncoast Defensive Driving School now offers a Mature Driver Classroom Course through our industry partner - State College Of Florida Traffic Safety Institute
Mature Driver Classroom Course Format
- Six hour course taught by a certified instructor.
- An interactive multi-media presentation with a student workbook.
- A certificate is issued at completion of the course.
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