New online help for older drivers asking “am I still safe?”

“Old age aint no place for sissies”, as Bette Davis once said, and its challenges are many. There’s a question lots of older people, and concerned friends and family, will be asking: “is it still safe for me to drive?”. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US has now launched an online resource which aims to help older drivers address this question.

The NIHSeniorHealth Older Drivers topic pages contain clearly presented, useful information and advice on safe driving and vehicle safety, assessing your driving skills, age- and health-related factors which can influence driver safety, regulations affecting older drivers, and looking at alternative ways to get around.

The resource has been developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at NIH and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NIA director Richard Hodes commented:

“Driving is a complex task, requiring good vision and hearing, accurate speed-distance judgments and quick reaction times, among other skills. Age-related changes affecting some of these skills can make certain driving tasks especially hard for older drivers, which is why this new web resource is so important.”

The NIHSeniorHealth website has been designed for silver surfers by the NIA and the National Library of Medicine. As well as nice, clear pages (and which of us doesn’t appreciate that?) the site has features such as open-captioned videos and tabs to allow the user to change the font size and contrast.

Based here in the UK, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has information on driving and health on its medical information page and the Automobile Association website also has a page with facts and advice for older drivers.

American comedian George Carlin knew a thing or two about driving, or at least about driver psyche, quipping that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac.

Safe driving everyone!

Links:

NIHSeniorHealth Older drivers 

NIH news Information for older drivers

DVLA Medical information

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Sarah Chapman

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My name is Sarah Chapman. I have worked on systematic reviews and other types of research in many areas of health for the past 17 years, for the Cochrane Collaboration and for several UK higher education institutions including the University of Oxford and the Royal College of Nursing Institute. I also have a background in nursing and in the study of the History of Medicine.

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