Senior Driving is Florida's Focus This Week

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: December 3, 2013 3:55 AM
Senior Driver

With more than 3.2 million residents older than 65 driving across the Sunshine State, Florida kicked off Older Driver Safety Awareness Week on Monday. Florida leads the nation with more than 17 percent of motorists in the state being senior drivers.

Looking to cut down on traffic fatalities, the third leading cause of injury-related deaths for seniors, the Safe Mobility for Life Coalition was launched in 2009 to focus on senior traffic safety. The coalition includes 27 organizations and agencies on the national, state and local levels including the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV) and the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy.

Besides holding events, the coalition looks to make Florida safer and even has a “find a ride” program for seniors through its website. Last week, Gov. Rick Scott signed a proclomation declaring this week to be Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. This week, the coalition is looking to promote senior driver safety with activities across the state. The FDOT and the coalition are teaming up with the city of Tamarac to hold an event on Thursday focusing on senior driving.

“With the increasing number of Florida’s population over the age of 65, it is important to provide resources to meet both their safety and mobility needs,” said FDOT District Secretary Jim Wolfe on Monday. “With knowledge of their local resources we can help older adults learn how to be proactive about their safe driving skills and how to learn to maintain safe mobility after they transition from driving.”

In the meantime, the FLHSMV issued safety tips on Monday for older drivers.

“More than 3 million of our almost 16 million drivers in Florida are age 65 or older,” said Executive Director Julie Jones on Monday. “Being able to remain active and productive members of their communities is important to our older residents, and by highlighting the importance of driver safety, we hope they can continue to safely enjoy this freedom.”

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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