Is there an aging driver in your household?
NOVEMBER 27, 2017
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says support is available
If you or someone you know is concerned about the driving skills of an older motorist, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson wants you to know there are excellent resources available to help families with aging drivers.
“The fastest growing segment of our state’s population is residents age 65 and older,” Johnson said. “The topics of aging and driving raise a lot of questions among seniors and their families. Fortunately, Michigan has an award-winning program to supply answers.”
The week of December 4th has been declared nationally as “Older Driver Safety Awareness Week” and the state of Michigan has officially recognized the week by issuing a statewide proclamation. About 1-in-7 drivers is age 65 or older in Michigan. Experts predict that number will rise to 1-in-5 drivers by the year 2025.
The Safe Drivers Smart Options website at www.Michigan.gov/agingdriver was created for aging drivers, their families and professionals, such as health care providers and law enforcement. The website includes self-assessment driving tools, videos, links to driver refresher courses and other community supports for aging drivers, information about how medications and health problems may affect driving, and lists of resources available to drivers once they stop driving. Its three primary goals are to:
- Help aging drivers continue to drive safely;
- Help aging drivers who are no longer able to drive safely transition to non-driving; and
- Provide community resources and mobility options for those no longer driving.
The decision to give up the keys can be traumatic for drivers and their families. Especially at this time of year, when people are reconnecting over the holidays, the topic of older drivers may be suddenly brought to the table as concerns are raised about changes in a loved one’s driving behavior.
The Safe Drivers Smart Options website is a statewide response to the need for information on this important and challenging subject. It was developed through a collaboration of public and private agencies as a much-needed strategy to promote safety and mobility for Michigan's aging adults.
The website has been recognized nationally by the 2017 Public Affairs and Consumer Education Awards Program (PACE) as the Division Winner for Internally Developed Website Technology. PACE recognizes public relations, public affairs and consumer education excellence among the motor vehicle, law enforcement and traffic safety agencies across North America.
“Aging drivers can be a difficult topic,” Johnson said. “Each family faces the issue in the way most suitable for them. But I want all Michigan residents to know that help and information is available through the Safe Drivers Smart Options website.”
More information about the Safe Drivers Smart Options campaign and the agencies that support it is available at www.Michigan.gov/agingdriver.
For media questions, please call Fred Woodhams at 517-373-2520.
Customers may call the Department of State Information Center to
speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).