Schriften der Eugen-Otto-Butz-Stiftung - sonstige Publikationen: Accident patterns and prospects for maintaining the safety of older drivers|
Gert Weller, Nora Strauzenberg, Margit Herle, Bernhard Schlag and Susann Richter
Accident patterns and prospects for maintaining the safety of older drivers.
TÜV Media GmbH, Köln 2014.
Every human being has a basic need for mobility. Whereas mobility demands can be a burden to many of today’s young working people, it has a predominantly positive connotation in the everyday life of older people. Mobility makes it possible to meet individual needs, to participate in an active social life, and it is an important prerequisite for independence. However, it is paradoxically in old age that both the type and the scope of mobility become restricted. This restriction is a result of declining sensory, motor and cognitive abilities. Even though the demands on these resources vary between the different forms of mobility, all of them are negatively affected due to the overall number of age-related changes.
Of all the different forms of mobility, car driving is of particular interest in our society. The reasons for this are manifold. One likely important reason for this is that car accidents often not only affect the personcausing the accident but also second parties. In addition, the media relishes reporting dramatic accidents where older people are at fault. This influences the perception of the risk associated with older drivers. However, car-driving is the most loved means of transportation for current and future generations of our aging population.
An alternative to taking away the driving license of older drivers is to ensure age-friendly auto-mobility by supporting the elderly through training and information and through implementing technical and designbased changes in cars and the driving environment. With this strategy, age-appropriate alternatives to driving only need to be discussed and be provided when car mobility can no longer be maintained.
This volume discusses the actual risk of driving in old age in terms of the topics outlined above. Furthermore, approaches and alternatives for age-friendly auto-mobility are discussed and their implementation is briefly outlined. These are illustrated using examples from selected European cities and communities.
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