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Older Driver Safety Awareness: Keep You and Your Loved Ones Safe

Portrait of happy senior woman fastening seat belt before driving a car.

December 4 to 8, 2023 is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week (ODSAW), a time to empower older adults to improve their safety on the nation’s roadways. This is important because – even though they are safe drivers overall – older drivers are more vulnerable to severe injury or even death when involved in a vehicle crash.

Between 2012 and 2021, the U.S. population of people 65 and older increased by 29%. In 2021, 7,489 people 65 and older were killed in traffic crashes in the United States accounting for 17% of all traffic fatalities, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As the older driver population continues to increase on our nation’s roads, it is essential to optimize the driving experience by helping them become more confident, knowledgeable drivers. Doing so can reduce the negative human, financial, and social costs and make driving safer for all.

ODSAW is also a time where many organizations come together to share valuable resources for older drivers and their family members. AARP Driver Safety (ADS) has been offering driver safety improvement courses since 1979. Today, ADS offers a variety of programs to help drivers stay safe, confident, independent, and connected in their communities.

  • AARP Smart Driver™ course: AARP Driver Safety’s flagship program, it is the nation’s first and longest-running safe driving course designed for older drivers. It is available nationwide in a classroom or online setting.
  • CarFit: A free, in-person educational program that helps older drivers make adjustments in their car to ensure it “fits” just right for maximum safety and comfort. CarFit was created by the American Society on Aging and developed in collaboration with AAA (American Automobile Association), AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
  • We Need to Talk: A free program that provides online information and in-person seminars to help families have those difficult conversations with family and loved ones about when to hang up the keys and stop driving. It is available in English and Spanish.
  • AARP Smart DriverTEK: A free workshop on the latest vehicle safety technology. The workshop is available online, virtually via Zoom, or in-person in select markets.
  • AARP SafeTrip™: A free smartphone app that lets drivers securely monitor key driving behaviors like braking, accelerating, and phone use — proven indicators of safe driving practices and crash prevention. So drivers can more clearly see how they’re doing and how they can improve.
  • AARP Driver Safety Quick Learnings: Free educational resources on vehicles, driving and alternative transportation.

You can also find older driver resources and information from other great organizations:

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