Schold Davis will be the guest speaker at “The Silver Tsunami - Supporting Ohio’s Aging Drivers,” a free event from 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, Dec. 7, at the main Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St.
The talk will provide an overview of the growing senior driver population and what Ohio and other states have done and could do to address their needs.
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The baby boomers started turning 65 in 2011, and since then, about 10,000 boomers have celebrated their 65th birthday every single day. That trend is projected to last until 2029.
This helps explain why the number of local drivers 65 and older has increased 14 percent since 2012.
Last year, one in five licensed drivers were seniors in Butler, Champaign, Clark, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Warren counties, according to Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle data analyzed by the Dayton Daily News.
One in 13 licensed drivers in the region are 75 and older. There are 5,267 licensed motorists in region who are at least 90 years old.
People are living longer because they are more healthy and advances in medicine.
RELATED: Number of elderly drivers up dramatically in Ohio
Seniors generally are safe drivers because they tend to observe speed limits, wear seatbelts and are less likely to get behind the wheel after drinking than some younger motorists, according to AAA.
But older drivers are more likely to be injured or killed in auto crashes because their bodies tend to be more frail and they are more likely to have medical issues that can complicate an injury, experts say.
Fatal crashes involving seniors has increased in the recent years, according to experts.
Driving performance changes as people age, and older motorists may have to contend with slower reaction times and diminished vision, experts say.
But older drivers can make changes to avoid challenging driving situations and conditions, such as not getting behind the wheel when it’s dark or bad weather or rush hour.
“A common change is seniors no longer drive at night, because their vision changes are not compatible with night driving, and that’s a very safe change,” Schold Davis said.
Ohio is pulling together community groups to raise awareness about the growth in senior drivers, and it is important to figure out what services communities need to ensure older Ohioans can get around, she said.
Aging Ohioans have to evaluate their own driving needs and behaviors to determine how to stay safe.