FL Launches Campaign to Improve Safety Among Older Drivers

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Tallahassee, FL- November 5, 2012

Mary Berman has been driving for most of her life. In a few years, she'll join the growing number of senior drivers, a group the Florida Department of Transportation says are at a higher risk of being involved in a deadly crash.

There are more than 3 million people over the age of 65 living in Florida. And according to the Florida Department of Transportation, car crashes are the third leading cause of death among them.

Now the department is launching its "Older Driver Safety Awareness Week". The campaign starts December 2 and runs through December 8. It focuses on improving the safety of older drivers and others on the road.

"They probably are a little bit more at risk," says Berman.

Berman says while some seniors may react slower behind the wheel, their years knowledge can make up for it.

"They can maybe see things happening because they are so experienced," says Berman.

AAA says cars need to fit the needs and abilities of their drivers. Something AAA says that about 9 in 10 cars driven by Seniors don't do.

"You've got to have the room between the steering wheel and your chest. and airbag. And you've got to make sure that the position of the seat will give you that control with the brake and the accelerator so that you have that proper alignment there," Brenda Smith AAA spokeswoman.

AAA offers a program called CarFit. It says the programs works with drivers to make sure the car fits their needs. AAA says the program is free for anyone to use. Just contact your local branch to setup an appointment.

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