Recently, the Baltimore Sun had an interesting story about a Maryland woman who has developed a program that helps older drivers recognize the physical and cognitive issues they may face as they age and successfully teaches these seniors about safe driving.
The woman’s son, a Johns Hopkins University student, died in 2010 after he was involved in a bicycle accident with a senior driver near his apartment. The woman, Susan Cohen, said that her son suffered severe brain damage in the accident and died six months later.
Cohen, an attorney, has gone on to found Americans for Older Driver Safety, which offers seminars that teach older drivers about impairments that could diminish their ability to drive.
“I’ve become a national expert, and it wasn’t by choice,” Cohen said, according to the Sun. “Older drivers don’t know when they’re safe to drive. They can get the car turned on and on the roadway, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe.”
Cohen said that she urges drivers to begin to prepare to lose their driving privileges and “downsize” during their 70s. She said that this could include reducing driving to take place at nights or only in familiar areas.
Cohen encourages drivers to ask family members to ride along with them and observe them. She said “driving retirement” is something all seniors should be prepared for.
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It is great that Cohen is preparing drivers for the reality that they may not have the ability to continue to operate vehicles. If you have an older family member who drives and you think that this is dangerous, you should speak to him or her about this subject.
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Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.