Elderly Drivers on the Road - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Elderly Drivers on the Road

Getting behind the wheel... It's a responsibility that shouldn't be taken lightly. Especially by those who know their older loved ones should not be driving.

As Baby Boomers age, more elderly drivers will be sharing the roads. Something some worry about for safety aspects. Though senior citizens I spoke with say they shouldn't be judge by their age.

Evelyn Richie says, "I took lessons to drive and I think I drive as well as anyone." 70 year old Evelyn Richie isn't alone...

Dale Allison, a 59 year old driver says, "Been doing it for a long time, I am a good defensive driver."

Both Richie and Allison say driving is their independence. Something they couldn't do without.

"My mother did not drive and she had to call us to come get here and it was an inconvenience sometimes." Richie says.

For some they hold the inconvenience of not being able to driver over the safety aspect. In fact drivers 75 and older have the second highest of fatal crashes per mile driven.

While the numbers aren't huge in amarillo, there are people who died in crashes caused by an elderly driver.

Cpl. Jerry Neufeld with the Amarillo Police Department says, "We have 19 fatalities involving 75 year old drivers and older that were involved in fatality accidents. 16 of those 19 were at fault or the driver of the vehicle that led to the death. Over a five year period, at the same time during that five years we had 142 people that had been killed in the last five years just in driving wrecks here in town."

Experts say the best thing is to talk to your parents or loved ones early about turning in their keys one day. Don't wait till it is a problem, because they then might resist the idea.

Experts also say don't let it go if you don't think your loved one should be on the road. No matter how mad at you they get. Because you might just save another driver or their own life.

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