Poll shows British Columbians worried about senior drivers but unsure how to broach the topic

More than 70 per cent of British Columbians are concerned about the safety of aging drivers in their lives as well as struggling to have conversations with mature drivers in their families, according to a new survey.

The survey, which was conducted by the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) and Insights West, showed that 32 per cent of the respondents, who have mature drivers in their lives, feel anxious when their aging loved ones get behind a wheel and 38 per cent feel powerless about how to keep them safe on the road.

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Although 69 per cent of British Columbians feel road safety would be better if families discussed the topic with aging members, the poll shows that 63 per cent have not spoken to mature drivers in their families. The reason? Close to half of those respondents say it’s a matter of not knowing how to approach the topic with their loved ones.

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But 94 per cent of senior drivers have taken at least one step to adjust their driving habits to stay safe on the road, which include no longer driving at night, avoiding high traffic hours and getting regular hearing and eye exams.

Based on the research, BCAA has rolled out a web-based senior’s driving toolkit, which provides families advice, a conversation guide and a video to help have the tough conversations about driving safety. Some tips BCAA suggests for a constructive, non-confrontational conversation with a senior driver include:

  • Talking openly about the effects of aging on driving
  • Asking whether the senior has concerns with their driving ability
  • If you notice any concerning driving habits, let them know you can help find solutions for any of their driving issues
  • Suggest the senior driver take steps to maintain their driving skills.

The survey was conducted from March 25-27 among 801 people in B.C.

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