Survey finds many worried about elderly driving skills

Jan 26, 2011

Older drivers may have problems on the road

Thousands of motorists each year are involved in fatal accidents. A large number of crash victims are teen drivers, but older people are susceptible as well.

Elderly motorists tend to have slower reflexes and may find themselves having more difficulty driving than in the past. A major insurer collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AgeLab and found that one in 10 people are concerned about an elderly driver's abilities to navigate a vehicle.

MIT AgeLab research scientist Lisa D'Ambrosio says repeated errors may indicate an elderly person shouldn't drive anymore.

"Making a single minor driving mistake doesn't mean that a person needs to stop driving," says Ambrosio. "What families need to do is look for patterns of warning signs and for an increase in frequency and severity of the warning signs."

In addition to no longer driving when skills deteriorate, elderly people may also want to consider life insurance. Should a fatal accident occur, the funds from such a policy can help pay for funeral expenses as well as provide financial support for loved ones.

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