Older Road Users

The year- round makeup of road users here is older than anywhere else in the USA.

They attract their peers to visit them and the area’s amenities.           

  • The Sarasota and Manatee Counties contain some of the USA’s largest concentrations of seniors, who are living longer and driving longer.
  • A third of permanent residents in Sarasota County today are older than age 65, the same percentage the nation is projected to have in 2050 (Sarasota Institute for the Ages). 
  • These many seniors living here are receiving increased local media, organization, and institutional attention and concern.  The seventh annual International Conference on Positive Aging takes place in Sarasota Feb. 9-12. Sarasota to host summit on aging  http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20131226/ARTICLE/131229774/0/search
  • Older road users’ safer mobility is stressed by the Federal Highway Administration, the Institute of Traffic Engineers, Insurance Institute of the Highway Safety, Transportation Research Bureau, the AARP, and others (below).
    • Two-thirds of transportation planners and engineers have yet to begin addressing older people in their street planning.  AARP  http://goo.gl/bERWdQ
  • The US41Multimodal Emphasis Corridor is the adopted#2 Major Project Funding Priority. Of the Sarasota Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)http://www.mympo.org/us41-multi-modal-emphasis-corridor.

 ATTITUDESI-75 driving cartoon

     Sarasota Herald Tribune cartoon.

  • “I don’t go when the HOA meeting place is on the other side of Tamiami Trail & I have to go up there.”
  • Congestion “we drove up for dinner with friends … will never do that again … frightening.” Re University Parkway @ I-75     [as Yogi Berra said: No one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.]
  • Darkness “won’t go to a meeting when I think it like it will end after dark.”“can’t volunteer if means I have to drive home after dark.” “I know I don’t see as well as night when I drive … and the lights glare.” 
  • Markings  “With many seniors driving on our roads, doesn’t it make sense that more frequently replacing traffic  lines would be a good safety investment?”  Letter to the editor. Sarasota Herald Tribune, Wednesday, January 22, 2014.
  •  Crossing Distance “I don’t walk across to the Bayfront from my condo on US41.  I drive. I shouldn’t, but I do.  I’m afraid the light will change while I’m walking across …. could get hit by cars coming by me close to me.”

 REALITY

Where Older Road Users Are

CITY OLDER GRAPHCOUNTY OLDER

http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_12_1YR_DP05&prodType=table  and  http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/12000.html

SCOPE 2010 Census tracts 65+ Sarasota County SCOPE 2010 Census 65+ Sarasota County

 AARP Driving Resource Center

  • Two-thirds of transportation planners and engineers have yet to begin addressing older people in their street planning.  AARP  http://goo.gl/bERWdQ
  • Adults 65-plus are over-represented in the number of traffic deaths compared with the rest of the U.S. population.
  • About 30 percent of fatal crashes involving drivers age 65-plus occur at intersections.
  • If involved in a crash, older drivers and older passengers are more likely to be killed than younger passengers because of their increased fragility.
  • Crashes cost the United States more than $230 billion annually in productivity losses, property damage, medical costs, legal costs, emergency services, insurance costs and cost to employers.
  • Drivers 85 years of age and older are 10 times more likely as drivers in the 40-49 age group to have multi-vehicle intersection crashes.
  • Older drivers do not cope as well as younger ones with complex traffic situations, and multiple-vehicle crashes at intersections increase markedly with age.
  • Older people are more susceptible than younger ones to medical complications following motor vehicle crash injuries. This means they are more likely to die from their injuries.
  • Crashes are often caused by speeds that are too high to allow drivers time to judge other cars’ speeds, their distance, and whether there is enough of a gap to make a turn (doesn’t just affect older drivers)… arterials, collectors, and distributors need different solutions …. left turns are of special concern to elderly drivers as speed, distance, and gap judgments are more difficult.
  • Bodies become more fragile and susceptible to injury as we age; therefore, fatal traffic crashes per mile driven become more frequent as age increases.

AARP – National Household Travel Survey data series.

  • One type of travel that has seen astonishing growth and can be expected to continue to grow is travel to access medical services. While the distance traveled for the average trip to access medical services has remained about the same for the past three decades, the number of medical trips has skyrocketed.

AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

  • “… designers and engineers should be aware of the problems and requirements of the elderly and consider applicable measures to aid their performance.—AASHTO Green Book

FHWA Safety Program

  • Although relatively few deaths of older (over 55) drivers involve motor vehicles, they have higher   rates of fatal crashes than all but the youngest drivers.
  •  Older drivers do not cope as well as younger ones with complex traffic situations, and multiple-vehicle crashes at intersections increase markedly with age.
  • Older people are more susceptible than younger ones to medical complications following motor vehicle crash injuries. This means they are more likely to die from their injuries.

NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

  • Safe Driving for Older Adults  Helpful tips about coping with these changes are also provided so that you can remain a safe driver for as long as possible.

IIHS Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: Older Drivers

  • Older drivers are keeping their licenses longer and driving more miles than in the past. Per mile traveled, fatal crash rates increase noticeably starting at age 70-74 and are highest among drivers 85 and older. The increased fatal crash risk among older drivers is largely due to their increased susceptibility to injury, particularly chest injuries, and medical complications, rather than an increased tendency to get into crashes.

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/older-drivers/fatalityfacts/older-people/2012

  • Older Drivers at Intersections. Driving within intersection environments requires complex speed-distance judgments under time constraints. This scenario for intersection operations can be more problematic for older drivers and pedestrians than for their younger counterpart

http://www.ite.org/technical/IntersectionSafety/older.pdf

FDOT – Florida Department of Transportation.

  •  Aging Roadway Users. An increasing number of adults age 65 and older travel Florida’s roads and highways as drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.  From 2007 to 2009, adults age 65 and older made up an increasing percentage of all fatalities from crashes over the three years – 18.3 percent, 18.7 percent and 20.6 percent, respectively.
  • As shown in the 2012 Strategic Highway Safety Plan, to drive down the numbers, we are focusing on the following strategies:
    • Manage and evaluate aging road user safety, access, and mobility activities to maximize the effectiveness of programs and resources;
    • Provide the best available data to assist with decisions that improve aging road user safety, access, and mobility;
    • Provide information and resources regarding aging road user safety, access, and mobility;
    • Inform public officials about the importance of and need to support national, state, regional, and local policy and program initiatives which promote and sustain aging road user safety, access, and mobility;
    • Promote and encourage practices that support and enhance aging in place (i.e., improve the environment to better accommodate the safety, access, and mobility of aging road users);
    • Enhance aging road user safety and mobility through assessment, remediation, and rehabilitation;
    • Promote safe driving and mobility for aging road users through licensing and enforcement;
    • Promote the safe mobility of aging vulnerable road users (pedestrians, transit riders, bicyclists and other non-motorized vehicles);
    • Promote the value of prevention strategies and early recognition of at-risk drivers to aging road users and stakeholders; and
    • Bridge the gap between driving retirement and mobility independence (i.e., alternative transportation mobility options, public transportation, and dementia-friendly transportation).

http://www.dot.state.fl.us/safety/2A-Programs/Aging-Road-Users.shtmAging Road Use

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