Police ask families to discuss driving with older relatives, but travelling by car may be endangering older drivers and undermining their health and independence.
NSW findings show that drivers over 70 are over-represented in the numbers of people seriously hurt or killed on the road. There is evidence that older drivers are more likely to be found responsible for the crashes they are involved in than younger drivers, and that crashes at intersections present more issues than speed.
Accidents involving older drivers pose a risk of significant injury or death to the driver themselves, due to drivers becoming frail as they age. Christmas is a great time to catch up with loved ones and to talk to older relatives about ways to stay safe.
Instead of a simple focus on conversations about giving up driving, Bicycle NSW suggests this Christmas is a great time to talk about taking up riding a bike. Regular bike riding can help people stay fit at any age, and has benefits for cardiovascular fitness, physical and mental health.
“Growing older is inevitable, but frailty doesn’t have to be,” said Bicycle NSW Communications Manager, Kim Lavender.
The draft Older Person’s Transport and Mobility Plan identifies bike riding as an important part of active aging and helping people stay healthy. E-Bikes can also help rider travel further, faster and for longer.
“It’s good to see the NSW Government discussing transport options that don’t need a driver’s license to help everyone get to where they need to go,” said Kim.
Bicycle NSW calls for more support and safe infrastructure to enable older riders to stay active and healthy.