Delaware drivers 65 and older have fewer crashes than the national average and fewer than their peers in surrounding states, according to AAA.
Older drivers are 17 times more likely to be injured or killed when they are involved in collisions, though. And, older people who stop driving are almost twice as likely to suffer from depression and nearly five times more likely to enter a long-term-care facility than those who remain behind the wheel, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
An AAA study suggests older drivers adapt their cars to compensate for health conditions such as arthritis, joint pain and knee replacements. Seat pads can improve line of sight and alleviate back or hip pain. Convex mirrors can improve visibility and minimize blind spots.Pedal extension can move drivers a safe distance from airbags and optimize visibility. Steering wheel covers can improve grip for drivers with arthritic hands. For drivers who can’t use their legs, hand controls can allow them to maneuver their vehicles.
“When an ache or pain begins hindering driving ability, many older drivers are able to continue driving after making a few adjustments,” said Elin Schold Davis, project coordinator for the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Older Driver Initiative.