OSP looks to keep seniors safe behind the wheel

Last year in Ohio, 454 individuals age 56 and older died in traffic crashes.

OSP looks to keep seniors safe behind the wheel

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Ohio State Highway Patrol has partnered with Keeping Us Safe to prevent tragedies involving older drivers.

Highway Patrol Lt. Brian Holt said for three years straight, Trumbull County has seen an increase in fatal crashes involving mature drivers, including 41 percent of them last year.

“They certainly don’t account for 41 percent of the driving population, so we are concerned about that,” he said.

Last year in Ohio, 454 individuals age 56 and older died in traffic crashes.

Keeping Us Safe is a national organization that works with older drivers and their families with the issue of age-related diminishing driving skills. It offers suggestions on how an older driver can extend his or her safe driving career. The program stresses the importance of staying aware of diminishing physical and cognitive skills as one ages, as well as making appropriate adjustments in driving behavior to compensate for a decline in those skills.

“Once they realize that no one’s here to take their keys or their driver’s license, they’re receptive to the information that we have to offer,” said Matt Gurwell, founder and CEO of Keeping Us Safe.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says most people will outlive their safe driving years by seven to 10 years. Jim Vogt said he can relate.

“I’m 84 years old, and my driving is slipping a little bit, so I want to get some help,” he said.

Upcoming presentations for the Keeping Us Safe program will be held at the following locations:

  • 10:30 a.m. March 7: Champion S.C.O.P.E, 4451 Mahoning Ave., Champion
  • 1 p.m. March 18: Cortland S.C.O.P.E, 125 N. Bank St., Cortland
  • 10:30 a.m. March 23: Warren S.C.O.P.E, 220 W. Market St., Warren

**More dates and locations could be added**

You can also view the A Safe Driver Through the Aging Process presentation online.

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