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Study shows many older Floridians have no backup plan after hanging up their keys
Date:12/2/2011

Florida is home to one of the highest percentages of residents ages 65 and older in the United States, but very few of them have thought ahead to a time when they will no longer be able to drive a vehicle safely or considered how they will get around without a car, according to a new survey developed by Florida State University and the Florida Department of Transportation.

In fact, 13 percent of survey respondents indicated they would not stop driving at all, with 3 percent expressing the opinion that they would die before they would stop driving.

The findings reflect a serious issue in Florida and across the nation that older drivers are at a disproportionate risk for being involved in a fatal vehicular crash, according to John Reynolds, the Eagles Professor of Sociology at Florida State and director of the university's Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy.

To address the problem, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has awarded the Pepper Institute grants totaling $475,000 to assist it in establishing and implementing a statewide coalition to create a statewide Aging Road User Strategic Safety Plan.

"The bottom-line measure of success for the grant from the DOT is that we reduce the number of fatalities, injuries and crashes that involve older adults in Florida," Reynolds said. "However, in doing so we'll be making the roads safer for all Floridians and hopefully serving as a national model for other states."

In establishing a baseline for the development of the coalition and the safety plan, Reynolds analyzed the responses of more than 900 Floridians who participated in the 2011 Florida Aging Road User Survey, which was conducted this past spring and summer. Of those survey participants, half ranged in age from 50 to 64 years old, while the other half were 65 and older. Their responses provide some insights into the perceptions of older drivers regarding the mobility and safety challenges t
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Contact: John Reynolds
john.reynolds@fsu.edu
850-644-8825
Florida State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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