Crashes Especially Dangerous for Seniors

Nearly 90 percent of older drivers have not made adaptations to their vehicles that could improve safety and extend their time behind the wheel, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. 

And officials say these are changes that can be made very cheaply.

Common vehicle adaptations like pedal extensions, seat cushions and steering wheel covers can help improve safety by reducing a senior driver’s crash risk, according to the study. 

Officials say seniors aged 65 and over are more than twice as likely as younger drivers to be killed when involved in a crash. 

With those figures in mind, AAA officials urge older drivers to consider making the necessary adaptations to their vehicles in order to reduce crash risk and extend the time they can continue to drive.

The source of this data is the research brief, "In-Vehicle Technologies, Vehicle Adaptations, and Older Drivers: Use, Learning, and Perceptions."

Authorities say it's the first phase in the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers project. 

Researchers are currently engaged in generating the largest and most comprehensive senior driver database in existence. 

This information will support in-depth research to better understand the risks and transportation needs of America's aging population.

For this phase of the study, researchers investigated 12 vehicle adaptations and found that fewer than nine percent of senior drivers reported using any of the devices in their vehicles.

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