Connecticut Department of Transportation offers tips for Older Driver Safety Awareness Week

It is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week and the Connecticut Department of Transportation is reminding people to talk to older drivers they know and make sure they feel confident and safe behind the wheel.
In 2021, 17% of all roadway deaths nationwide involved someone over the age of 65. Those numbers are going up, according to the DOT.
"For the older people and the teenagers, I think everyone should be a little more careful," said Jackie McKay, of Darien.
Norwalk resident Edgar Torres commutes in his car for work and says he sees a lot of distracted driving.
"The phone is the big problem," said Torres. "Every day, not every week. Every day."
The DOT says whether you are 18 years old or 80 years old, people need to slow down and be mindful of other drivers’ safety.
They are encouraging families to have more open discussions with older loved ones when it comes to safety on the road.
"I love old people, but I don't think they should be driving at a certain age,” said McKay. “It's up to the family to make that decision. It's a very hard decision."
Josh Morgan, with the DOT, says 42 older drivers were killed in traffic related crashes in 2021 – and that number is only going up.
"What's alarming is when we look from year to year to see what those trends are, nationally the amount of traffic related fatalities for those over age 65 went up by more than 20%," said Morgan. "Older drivers may have some hearing challenges or they may have some challenges with vision or prescription medicines."
Claudia Munoz, of Norwalk, has been doing her part to help out her older family members to prevent accidents of any kind.
"I have an elderly person in my family, I always offer to take them out to do errands,” said Munoz. “Help them if you can, if you give them the time."
However, Morgan says it's up to everyone to stay safe on the roads.
"Ultimately, we all share a responsibility when it comes to safety,” said Morgan. “Make sure people get to their destination safely each and every time."
Regardless of age, the DOT wants to make sure Connecticut drivers are slowing down, paying attention and always driving sober. They also recommend older drivers check their vision and hearing regularly and plan more trips during the day with lighter traffic.