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November 5, 2008
For immediate release

National Seniors Safety Week Focuses on Keeping Older Drivers Alert and Safe

Social Services and Seniors

Older drivers are being encouraged to be aware of age-related changes that may affect their driving skills, as part of a new campaign for National Seniors Safety Week from November 6 to 12.

Slower response times, not seeing a pedestrian, sign or car and interaction with other drivers, such as right-of-way violations, are the main factors in vehicle accidents involving older drivers, according to the Canada Safety Council.

Other physical age-related changes that may affect driving skills include reduced vision, particularly at night, a decrease in depth perception, and disabilities that limit movement and slow down responses, such as arthritis and rheumatism. Medications may also affect driving ability.

The Canada Safety Council suggests that older drivers can be safe drivers especially if they recognize and compensate for these age-related changes.

“Seniors Safety Week is an opportunity for Island seniors to take steps to reduce the risk of avoidable injury on the roads,” said Doug Currie, Minister of Social Services and Seniors. “For example, courses such as the 55Alive Driver Refresher Course help Island seniors learn skills to adapt and compensate for the changes in perception and reflexes that naturally occur over time.”

The 55Alive Driver Refresher Course is a course designed for mature drivers, offered through the PEI Senior Citizens’ Federation in partnership with the Province of Prince Edward Island. It is a six-hour course taught in a classroom, with no testing at the end of the course. For more information on the course, phone 1-877-368-9008.

Media Contact: Stefanie Arduini
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