What can be done about it?
The road safety of older road users is to a large extent determined by two factors: functional limitations and physical vulnerability. Both factors contribute to the relatively high fatality rate among older road users as a result of crashes. Functional limitations can increase crash risk, whereas a higher physical vulnerability increases injury severity. Taking into account these causes of the high fatality rate among older drivers, a set of measures that is aimed at reducing the fatality rate of older adults should at least include measures that are aimed at reducing injury severity. But measures that can reduce the crash involvement of older adults also contribute to a reduction of their fatality rate. Examples of such measures are: providing education and training, infrastructural adaptations, and driver assistance systems . In the case of a progressive decline of functions, training, adaptations of the infrastructure and the vehicle can no longer compensate for reduced fitness to drive. Therefore, a procedure is needed that will lead to a timely cessation of the driving career. The availability of alternative means of transport will alleviate the pain of giving up driving. To sum up, the available package of measures to ensure the older adult’s safety consists of:
- Education and training
- Infrastructural measures
- Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
- Vehicle design and vehicle safety
- Assessing the fitness to drive