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Driver Safety

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Multiple prescription medications and alcohol in the older driver...

As we've seen in the recent crash involving 81 y.o. Patricia Livingston, where she drove drunk and hit 14 y.o. Cole Sukle in Denver, Colorado killing him, alcohol can have very detrimental affects on older individuals. As we age, we lose the ability to process the alcohol in the same way as when we were younger. This means that less alcohol will make us drunker and will last longer in our systems. This alone makes it even more important to consistently not make the decision to drive after drinking alcohol.

It is even more important for older individuals to not drink alcohol when you consider that 28% of older people acknowledge that they are taking prescription medications that could affect their driving performance. 40% of older people are taking more than 5 prescriptions and 12% take more than 10 medications. Mixing alcohol with prescription medications is a recipe for disaster.

Please don't drink and drive or drive after taking medication that would affect your driving performance. The life you save may be yours and someone else's.

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Osteoarthritis...what is it and how does it affect driving?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage, the tissue that cushions the ends of the bones within the joints, breaks down and wears away. In some cases, all of the cartilage may wear away, leaving bones that rub up against each other. It is the most common form of arthritis amongst older people and the most frequent cause of their disability. Symptoms range from stiffness and mild pain that comes and goes to severe joint pain. Osteoarthritis affects hands, low back, neck, and weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, and feet. osteoarthritis affects just joints, not internal organs.

Loss of muscular strength and/or range of motion, joint stiffness, pain, and fatigue are key factors that influence the ability to perform critical driving maneuvers, including checking blind spots, turning, steering, reversing, and responding to sudden changes in the driving environment.

If you are suffering from osteoarthritis or know someone that is, please seek out a Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist who can help make modifications to your vehicle to make it easier to drive
and get in and out of. These modifications can include, but are not limited to, additional mirrors, backup cameras, etc.

Everyday Health
Osteoarthritis - Newlifeoutlook
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News You Can Use

Johns Hopkins Sophomore Killed And Older Driver Safety – August 10, 2015

Mother of Fatal Crash Victim Teaches Elderly Driver Safety – August 10, 2015

Mother of Maryland Crash Victim Now Teaching Elderly Drivers – August 9, 2015

Full Episode: Maryland’s News This Week, Sunday, August 9, 2015 – August 9, 2015

Bicyclist Remembered Four Years After Crash [VIDEO] – August 9, 2015

Mother of Bicyclist Killed in Car Accident Helps Educate Elderly Drivers – August 9, 2015

On The Road [Download PDF]

How to talk to elderly drivers about driving safely as you age – June 2, 2015

Woman turning son’s tragic death into crusade for older driver safety – June 1, 2015

After losing her son to an elderly driver, Leawood woman pushes for change.
Kansas City Star – June 1, 2015

NHTSA Announces New 5-Year Traffic Safety Plan and Guidelines for Older Drivers and Passengers
NHTSA – December 5th, 2013

Older Drivers Would Have To Renew Licenses Every 4-Years
WSAU – December 10, 2013

75 Is The New Old: VA DMV Study Recommends Fitness Tests For Aging Drivers
The Washington Times – December 15, 2013

Bill Proposes Changing In-Person Renewal For Older Drivers In Virginia
Daily Press – January 13, 2014

Proposal: Wisconsin Legislation to Require More Vision Exams
The Journal Times – January 2, 2014

AFODS Publishes 2013 Policy Brief
Baltimore Sun Editorial: Dangers of Older Drivers
JHU Public Health Magazine: End of the Road