Northeast Times

NE street remains worst for auto accidents involving seniors

The North­east re­mains the city’s hot spot for auto crashes in­volving seni­or cit­izens. Not par­tic­u­larly great news for grand­pop and grand­mom, but news they should have.

This Sunday, Sept. 7, is Grand­par­ents Day, and it might be a good time to re­mind them to watch out while on the North­east’s streets.

Ac­cord­ing to AAA Mid-At­lantic fig­ures, a sec­tion of Grant Av­en­ue between the Roosevelt Boulevard and Blue Grass Road re­mains the worst stretch in the city for auto ac­ci­dents that in­volve seni­ors.

“For the five-year peri­od from 2009-2013, there were 31 crashes and 37 in­jur­ies on the east­bound side of this sec­tion of Grant Av­en­ue, while the west­bound side had 29 crashes and 36 in­jur­ies,” the auto club re­por­ted. 

Top crash cor­ridors for seni­or drivers typ­ic­ally are busy com­mer­cial high­ways, close to shops, seni­or cen­ters and res­id­en­tial areas. That’s a pretty good de­scrip­tion of Grant and the Boulevard.

Are the num­bers a put­down of the older drivers? Not really.

“In simple terms, seni­or crashes hap­pen in places where there are more seni­ors,” said Jenny M. Robin­son, man­ager of Pub­lic and Gov­ern­ment Af­fairs for AAA Mid-At­lantic. “Older drivers as a group are very safe, and have lower crash rates than young drivers. This data simply points to loc­a­tions which may have lar­ger con­cen­tra­tions of seni­ors who can be­ne­fit from high­way safety pro­grams and driver im­prove­ment courses.”

One out of five of the state’s 1.8 mil­lion drivers are 65 or older, AAA re­por­ted.

“There are more seni­or drivers on the road, and the num­ber keeps grow­ing each year as our pop­u­la­tion ages. We want seni­ors to un­der­stand they shouldn’t wait un­til a fam­ily mem­ber has ‘the talk’ with them, or even takes the keys away. AAA en­cour­ages ma­ture drivers to be pro­act­ive, main­tain their skills, and self-lim­it their driv­ing if needed, so they can keep driv­ing safer and longer,” Robin­son ad­ded.

AAA re­por­ted older drivers are among the na­tion’s safest road users. They tend not to drink and drive, and they fre­quently buckle up, avoid dis­trac­tions and self-reg­u­late their driv­ing to re­l­at­ively low-risk times and con­di­tions. 

Re­search has shown that older drivers pose less risk to oth­er mo­tor­ists and road users than young­er drivers do; however, their crash in­volve­ment rates in­crease slightly after about age 75, and due to fra­gil­ity that comes with age, they are much more likely to be severely in­jured or killed if they are in­volved in a crash, ac­cord­ing to the AAA Found­a­tion for Traffic Safety.

Seni­ors can get free help and re­sources at AAA.com/Seni­or Driv­ing

This one-stop web­site, for mem­bers and non­mem­bers alike, links to AAA’s Seni­or Driver courses, avail­able either on­line or in a classroom. 

The site also of­fers state-spe­cif­ic driver in­form­a­tion, quizzes and even unique brain fit­ness ex­er­cises shown to cut the risk of a traffic crash in half. More fea­tures of the site are: Road­wise Rx to check the ef­fects of med­ic­a­tions, links to seni­or driver courses and Smart Fea­tures for Older Drivers, list­ing spe­cif­ic vehicle fea­tures that are help­ful to older adults. 

For more info on classroom and on­line driv­ing courses for seni­ors, call 877-457-0711. ••

You can reach at noreply@bsmphilly.com.

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