30 per cent of Canada's population was over 50 in 2002. Half of
Canadians 65 and older living in a private household drive a motor
vehicle. Drivers over 80 are the fastest-growing segment of the
What are the implications of Canada's changing
able to drive means independence," says Emile Therien, president
of the Canada Safety Council. "If you've driven for most of
your life, you'll want to keep driving as long as possible."
He says mature drivers tend to be safety conscious, "Many compensate
for their limitations by driving shorter distances and avoiding
night driving, busy highways and downtown areas."
drivers over 65 use their car only a few times a week, mostly short
trips for shopping, appointments or social get-togethers. However,
at the onset of winter, some drive long distances to warmer climes.
the years, road fatalities have dropped significantly in all age
groups except 65 and over. Based on kilometres driven, older drivers
have more collisions than any other age group.
seniors be safe drivers? Definitely yes, says Therien, if they recognize
age-related changes and compensate for them.
changes include: reduced vision, particularly at night; a decrease
in depth perception; and movement-limiting disabilities such as
arthritis and rheumatism which slow down response. Medications enable
Canadians to enjoy longer and better lives, but can also affect
main factors in collisions involving older drivers are slow response,
not seeing a pedestrian (car, sign, etc.) and interaction with other
drivers, such as right-of-way violations.
your Driving Skills
if you haven't been involved in a collision in 40 years, how many
near misses have you experienced? It may be time to review your
driving skills. With aging, changes occur in hearing, vision, flexibility
and reaction time. You can learn to adjust your skills to compensate
for those changes.
55 Alive Driver Refresher Course is designed to help older drivers
maintain their independence and their driving privileges. Contact
the Canada Safety Council to find out where it is available near
Canada Safety Council was co-sponsor of a workshop on maturing drivers
held October 15-16, 1999 in Ottawa. Speakers addressed topics related
to health, mobility and road safety. The purpose was to examine
how provincial and territorial governments should address Canada's
aging driver population.
55 Alive Driver
Renew Your Driving Skills for Today's Traffic
been driving for a long time. Why should I take a driving course
update your driving skills. Even if you haven't been involved in
a collision in 40 years, it may be time to review your driving skills.
With aging, changes occur in hearing, vision, flexibility and reaction
time. You can learn to adjust your skills to compensate for those
Any Of These Situations Bother You?
or exiting a highway
lanes on the highway
the right of way
frustrations of today's complicated traffic environment
so, you will benefit from taking the 55 Alive Driver Refresher
Your Driving Skills
55 Alive Driver Refresher Course is designed to help Canadians 55
years and over to maintain their independence and their driving
privileges. The 55 Alive course is designed to help you...
more confidence behind the wheel
your awareness of traffic hazards
yourself on traffic laws and new technology
the actions of other drivers
and correct bad driving habits
your concerns in a friendly, relaxed environment
helps me keep my independence - 55 Alive helps me protect it."