Governor's Traffic Safety Committee

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Contact:
Reza Mizbani
Reza.Mizbani@aging.ny.gov
(518) 474-7181

Joe Morrissey
Joseph.Morrissey@dmv.ny.gov
Casey McNulty
Casey.McNulty@dmv.ny.gov

 

NYSDMV
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 25, 2015

STATE AGENCIES PARTNER TO LAUNCH WEBSITE AIMED AT PROTECTING OLDER DRIVERS

Safe Driving Tips for Older New Yorkers provides tips and information for older adults to increase safety on the roads

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), the New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), today announced the launch of a website to educate New Yorkers about how to keep older drivers safe. The site, Safe Driving Tips for Older New Yorkers, is funded through a federal grant, and encourages the use of online and in-person safety training, car safety check programs, and an online tool to educate older drivers on how interactions with certain prescription medications can affect driving safety.

"Statistics continue to show that older drivers are some of the safest drivers on the road because they take extra care in avoiding dangerous situations and conditions," said Corinda Crossdale, Director of the New York State Office for the Aging. "Statistics also show, however, that when an older driver is in a crash, they are more likely to be injured. We are thrilled to launch this website with our partners to provide tips and strategies to help older drivers to be as safe as possible, to reduce the risks of driving while impaired due to prescription use and to assure that older drivers can continue to maintain their independence."

DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said, "New York State is always looking to improve the safety of drivers of all age groups. Older drivers face unique challenges, and providing information about defensive driving courses, safety training and tips, and the impact of medications on driving is not only beneficial to older drivers, but to everyone on the road."

According to the Pew Research Center, increasing numbers of older adults are using the Internet, making this new website a relevant place for older drivers to get information. More than half of adults aged 65 or older are Internet users; nearly 60 percent of seniors report that they go online, and the vast majority use the Internet daily.

Features of the Safe Driving Tips for Older New Yorkers website include:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that older drivers are driving more miles per year than previous generations, and at older ages. While older drivers tend to cause fewer crashes than younger drivers, when they are involved in a crash, it is much more likely to cause injury or death due to age-related vulnerabilities. Older drivers sometimes face higher risk due to health-related issues such as vision and hearing impairments, declining physical and mental functioning, slower reaction time, and an increase in the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications to manage chronic conditions and other health issues.

Additionally, according to AAA:

"As cars and their gadgets, traffic rules, driving conditions and roads keep changing, even the most experienced drivers can benefit by brushing up on how to stay safe," said Kyle Rakow, Vice President and National Director of AARP Driver Safety, which conducts the nation's largest driver safety course for drivers 50 and older, the AARP Smart Driver™ course. "Keeping drivers safe is a top issue for AARP, and more than 100,000 drivers take our course either online or in classroom settings throughout New York each year. That's why we applaud the development of this helpful website as another valuable resource for older drivers."

The topic of older driver safety was recently addressed in a GTSC-supported episode of "Aging and You," a 30-minute show produced by NYSOFA and distributed to cable channel outlets statewide. More information and resources for older drivers and their loved ones can be found on DMV's website.

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