Boomers nervous about losing driving freedom, AAA survey reveals

Baby boomers are expressing anxieties about losing their driving freedom and mobility.

In a survey by American Automobile Association, nearly half of senior drivers said they are worried about losing their freedom when it’s time to give up the car keys.

Every day, between 7,000 and 10,000 Americans turn 65; they are the generation known as the baby boomers. In El Paso County, there are 65,788 residents older than 65. That number is expected to be 82,546 by 2015.

AAA Colorado is helping aging drivers cope with the life–changing transitions facing the “silver tsunami,” AAA leaders said.

“By 2020 – just eight years from now – it’s estimated that nearly one in six people will be age 65 or older and most of them will still be licensed to drive,” said Robert L. Darbelnet, AAA national president and CEO. “No matter how active and healthy seniors are today, it’s evident that anxiety about giving up the keys is still an age–old concern.”

AAA’s survey also indicates that motorists age 65 and older often “self–police” their driving or avoid driving situations that put them at greater risk of a crash. About 80 percent of senior drivers voluntarily avoid one or more high–risk driving situations, according to the survey. Sixty-one percent of these drivers said they avoid driving in bad weather; 50 percent avoid night driving; 42 percent avert trips in heavy traffic and 37 percent avoid unfamiliar roads.

AAA encourages families to talk about safe mobility with the older drivers in their lives. AAA can provide expert advice and resources for older adults and their families at SeniorDriving.AAA.com.