AAA study: Most seniors aren’t driving as safely as they could be

(Photo by Kathleen Serie)

(KWTX) Most senior citizens aren’t driving as safely as they could be, according to a new study by the American Automobile Association.

The study reports that 90 percent of seniors don’t make vehicle adjustments that could improve driving safety, such as pedal extenders, cushions and seat pads, and multi-faceted mirrors.

Seniors older than 65 are more than twice as likely as younger drivers to be killed when involved in a crash, AAA officials said.

Some simple fixes could decrease this risk, and keep seniors driving longer.

"Vehicle adaptations, they benefit seniors' mental health,” AAA spokesperson Daniel Armbruster said.

“It extends their time behind the road. We have previous research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that shows that seniors who've stopped driving are almost two times more likely to suffer from depression."

Armbruster said cushions and seat pads could improve senior drivers’ line of sight and help with back or hip pain, multi-faceted mirrors could improve visibility and minimize blind spots, and steering wheel covers could help drivers with arthritis.

He said most of these items can be purchased at automotive stores, or even online.