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Article by Stacey Colino, AARP

“Getting older isn’t necessarily a reason to give up driving.

Older drivers these days are keeping their licenses longer and logging more miles on their cars than in the past, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Nevertheless, fatal crash rates do tend to increase considerably after age 70 and reach their peak among drivers 85 and older.

Because you want to make sure your loved one doesn’t become one of those unfortunate statistics, take a proactive approach to making sure your parent, partner or spouse is still fit to drive.

For many older drivers, driving serves as a form of independence and sometimes even a source of pride, so this is a sensitive subject.

If you can, “have your loved one’s doctor broach the subject. As health care professionals, we need to accept responsibility for bringing up this subject,” says Dr. George T. Grossberg, Samuel W. Fordyce professor and director of geriatric psychiatry at the St. Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri. If your loved one’s physician doesn’t bring up the topic, ask the doctor to address it.”


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