New BBC show focuses on centenarian drivers
"People often say to me "You're the lady that drives the yellow Mini!" If I couldn't drive a car I think I'd like a motorbike," Ash told The Daily Mail. The Mail notes that there are 241 drivers in the UK who are over 100, and 19 older than Ash. The oldest driver in the UK is 107. Elderly drivers are becoming more common as baby boomers age – and not just across the pond. Here in America, there are an estimated 30.1 million people over 70 in the US and 23.6 million, or 78 percent, are registered drivers, according to the International Institute for Highway Safety.
Elderly drivers are a potential cause for concern, as studies indicate they sometimes experience reduced response times and mental confusion. According to Caring.com, a website devoted to studying aging, older drivers caused 14 million accidents last year. In 2012, there were 5,560 people 65 and older killed in car crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Just because someone is older however, doesn't mean they need their license revoked. Seniors aren't necessarily dangerous due to their age – everyone experiences aging differently.
"The American coming of age, you get your independence with a car. To lose that is a big blow to seniors, who are already physically frail," said Andy Cohen, CEO of Caring.com.
Telling parents that it's not safe for them to drive anymore in not an easy conversation for adult children to have with their parents. We have a comprehensive guide to helping Americans navigate the sticky issue of older drivers here.
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