CARP Driving Poll Report

To view a detailed poll analysis with illustrations, click here

CARP ActionOnline readers recognize there is an issue with the safety of older drivers, suggest that annual refresher exams for older drivers and restricted licensing are solutions to this issue and plan to make their own decision about when to stop driving, rather than relying on the advice of others.

This would indicate that the ageist message that drivers are automatically unsafe as they age has been internalized and accepted by older drivers. Nonetheless, readers accept the responsibility of monitoring their own driving safety and say they will rely on their own judgment (which other findings indicate is solid) to make the decision to stop driving.

The vast majority of CARP ActionOnline readers are active and regular drivers and depend a great deal on their vehicles. Most say they are better drivers than others of their age.

Public transit as an alternative to driving is an option for just fewer than half our readers, while about half say they have no access to transit.

The most commonly cited suggestions for dealing with the issue of older drivers are “yearly driving exams for older drivers” and “licensing restrictions such as no night driving”. Few chose ideas related to alternative forms of transit for seniors.

Three quarters of respondents suggest Canada emulate Florida in adapting highway and signage design to the special needs of seniors.

When asked for solutions to the issue of seniors who can no longer drive, readers select options other than general public transit, focusing instead on seniors-only shuttle services.

The majority of respondents say they will drive “until I feel it is no longer safe to do so”, whereas a smaller proportion say they will drive “as long as I possibly can”. Few will rely on advice from family or physicians in making this decision.

While a majority feel the media focus on the age of the driver in a recent accident in Toronto was unfair, a majority also feel that the focus, fair or unfair, will spur much-needed action on the issue of older drivers who are no longer safe.

A small but significant minority of members relies on intercity bus travel, and three quarters believe these bus lines deserve government subsidies.

A significant minority of members have difficulty crossing at pedestrian intersections, and the most commonly suggested solution is longer lights.

To view a detailed poll analysis with illustrations, click here

Keywords: ageism, seniors, driving