The number of older traffic participants has risen sharply in recent years and continues to increase. Unfortunately, there are also more (older) victims. What can we do about that?
In 2005, 39% of women over 65, and 80% of women between 45 and 65 years had a driving license. For men the figure was for both age groups at 90%. Most of these will therefore drive on a regular basis.
Greater risk of accident
Older drivers drive less often in bad weather, usually have a lot of driving experience, act more according to traffic rules and, on average, are less often under the influence of alcohol than younger road users. All positive things, but on the other hand, getting older road users impairment such as reduced vision, hearing and reaction time and difficulty dividing attention.
The growing number of older drivers and the deterioration of motor functions provide therefore a greater risk of an accident. Fortunately, there are many technical and other possibilities to compensate for these functional disorders, so there is no reason not to participate in traffic (or less).
Physically more vulnerable
Elderly people are physically more vulnerable than young people and are has often more seriously injuriesÂ in the car. Car seats and (side) airbags for driversÂ can help reduce the number of serious injuries.
The Government, Safe Traffic Organizations and other parties provide tips and information and organize refresher courses in which drivers can test their skills and behavior and possibly update it with some (driving) lessons.Â Examples of courses include, for example, the Basic Refreshment Driving Ride, the Scooter Course, the Safe Mobile on the Bike Course (by the Cycling Federation's or Cycling School).
Derivation of major cause of accidents
Nearly 80 percent of accidents are caused because a driver is distracted, usually using electronic equipment while driving. It has been proven that, for example, calling in the car reduces sighting and driving performance. Traffic signs are missed and distances and dangerous situations are not properly estimated. Just take a look at the road: you often see it when a driver is busy with phone or other equipment: the car sling, drives very slowly or just too fast. Every year, tens of thousands of deaths or are seriously injured.
Tips for safer driving
- Anticipation is looking ahead and observe to prevent accidents..
- Do not call in the car. If it is necessary, use a hands-free kit. Set up navigation equipment before you start the car.
- When you put up in a traffic jam than even the alarm/hazard lights to warn motorists driving behind you.
- Observe the speed limit, even though other cars roar past you.
- Do not stay unnecessary on the track used to pass (extreme to the middle)!
- Use your direction indicators, even if you leave the roundabout.
- Make sure windshields are clean and that you have good visibility.
- Check theÂ lights ofÂ the car. Legally, there must be 2 brake lights!
- No alcohol or drugs in traffic.
- It's an open door, but a seat belt is mandatory and can save your life! Certainly in a convertible.
- Small children should always be in a car seat. Always transport babies againstÂ the driving direction to reduce the risk of neck injury or whiplash.
- Keep enough distance from your predecessor.
- Do not try to stare, but stay active and alert and look back and forth in the rearview and side mirrors.
- Collisions byÂ traffic lights are common.. PutÂ the car on the parking brake or in the 'P' position with standing still by an traffic light.Â If you are hitÂ from behind then at least the car isÂ not shooting on the crossroads.
- Do not hold your foot on the brake pedal, in bad weather and a wet road surface, the reflective lights can seriously impede the sight of rear traffic.
- If you hit water then turn on the lights, make the belt (s) loose, open a side window and leave the car. If you can not open the window, use an emergency hammer to break the window.
- Put in case of breakdown the car as far as possible in the verge (of the road) / against the guardrail. Do not wait in the car, even if the weather is bad, but stand at the roadside or behind the barrier.
- Winter tires are not an unnecessary luxury. If you drive less than you can have an all-season tires, preferably with 1 snow flake on it (required in some countries).
- Wear sunglasses, especially when the sun is low.
- Make a car completely snow-free, including the lights and the roof.
- Regularly test your knowledge of traffic rules. Something changes on a regularly basis!
Safer traffic on the scooter, bicycle and on foot
- Bicycling on an electric bike is significantly faster. That is certainly something to keep in mind when anticipating traffic situations.
- Avoid using mobile equipment while cycling. So do not app / call etc.
- Ensure good lighting and ensure that bicycle lights and reflectors are not covered by, for example, (bicycle) bags, luggage, long jackets, etc.)
- Go restedÂ on the road.
- Know the traffic rules and apply them.
- Wear a helmet, even if this is not mandatory.
- If you are on foot, preferably choose a route with street lighting to see better and be seen.
- In the dark, holes, obstacles, pits and other things can not stand out.
- Wear contrasting (bright or light) clothing. In the dark, you'll be notice better with reflective strips on your clothes or a reflective jacket. On dark roads or paths, it is also advisable to use light to carry them wrapped to your arm (white / red).
- Walk on the sidewalk. Is there is none, do not walk in the middle of the road and go into the berm/verge at oncoming traffic, not on the side of the direction of travel because you can not see traffic that's coming from behind and they can sometimes get quite close to the verge!