AARP, The Hartford and MIT AgeLab offer new online seminar to help
families prepare to talk with older drivers
HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
With the number of drivers 70 and older increasing — and one in five
Americans caring for an older loved one — the number of adults dealing
with concerns about their parents' driving abilities is on the rise. In
fact, according to a new survey from The Hartford and MIT AgeLab, almost
1 in 10 adults are worried about an older family member's driving.
To help families prepare for and initiate thoughtful conversations with
older drivers, AARP, The Hartford and MIT AgeLab teamed up to produce
"We Need to Talk," a
free online course that equips family members with information about
the emotional connection to driving, observing driving skills and
planning the conversation.
"We understand that talking to a parent about their driving can be very
difficult," said Jodi Olshevski, gerontologist at The Hartford. "If
you're worried, you should find out if your concerns are valid. Learn
the warning signs, get in the car and observe the older driver. Once
you get the facts and educate yourself about the resources available,
you will be in a better position to help."
The new survey also found that:
Adults 40-49 are the age group most concerned about an older family
Of those concerned, more than 33 percent have not shared their
concerns with the older driver.
The primary reasons cited for not having the conversation are:
Concern that the older driver will have a negative reaction (53
Unsure of how to raise the issue (43 percent).
Unsure of transportation alternatives (20 percent).
"Taking time to prepare can alleviate these concerns and help initiate a
thoughtful, positive conversation," said Julie Lee, director of AARP's
Driver Safety Program. "‘We Need to Talk' helps families think through
who the right messenger is, when the right time to talk might be and
provides some conversation starters. It also covers how to design a
transportation plan that provides the driver with alternatives for
Driving behavior warning signs vary. Some of the less serious issues may
be overcome with changes in driving behavior or physical fitness, while
the more serious behaviors may require immediate action. "Making a
single minor driving mistake doesn't mean that a person needs to stop
driving," said Lisa D'Ambrosio, Ph.D., research scientist at MIT AgeLab.
"What families need to do is look for patterns of warning signs and for
an increase in frequency and severity of the warning signs."
20 warning signs ranked from minor to serious
Decrease in confidence while driving
Difficulty turning to see when backing up
Easily distracted while driving
Other drivers often honk horns
Scrapes or dents on the car, mailbox or garage
Increased agitation or irritation when driving
Failure to notice traffic signs or important activity on the side of
Trouble navigating turns
Driving at inappropriate speeds
Uses a "copilot"
Bad judgment making left turns
Delayed response to unexpected situations
Moving into wrong lane or difficulty maintaining lane position
Confusion at exits
Ticketed moving violations or warnings
Getting lost in familiar places
Failure to stop at stop sign or red light
Stopping in traffic for no apparent reason
"We Need to Talk" is produced by AARP and is based on information
created jointly by The Hartford and MIT AgeLab. The course can be
accessed at www.aarp.org/weneedtotalk.
More information about driving
safely while you age, comprehensive
driving evaluations, interactive tools for older drivers and their
families, as well as a blog community is available at www.safedrivingforalifetime.com.
The Hartford's 2010 Older Driver Conversation Omnibus Survey was fielded
in October 2010 and was completed by 2,500 members of a managed access
panel who were 18+ years of age and representative of the U.S. household
About the Hartford Advance 50 Team
The Hartford is one of the few companies in the United States with
in-house experts on aging. For over 25 years, The Hartford has employed
gerontologists to advance the creation and delivery of research,
educational materials and innovative business solutions to enhance the
quality of life for the 50+ market.
About The Hartford
Celebrating 200 years of helping its customers achieve what's ahead, The
Hartford (NYSE: HIG) is an insurance and wealth management company.
Through its unique focus on customer needs, the company serves
businesses and consumers by providing the products and solutions they
need to protect their assets and income from risks and manage their
wealth and retirement needs. A Fortune 100 company, The Hartford is
recognized widely for its service expertise and as one of the world's
most ethical companies. More information on the company and its
financial performance is available at www.thehartford.com.
About the MIT AgeLab
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab is a global research
program based within MIT's Engineering Systems Division and Center for
Transportation & Logistics. The AgeLab conducts research on technology,
behavior and innovation to improve the quality of life of older adults
and those who care for them. More about AgeLab's research in
transportation, health and wellness, and longevity planning is available
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social welfare organization with a
membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control
in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a
whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make
contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce
AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the
world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers;
AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and
Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated
exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org.
AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security,
protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from
thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices
in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S.
About the AARP Driver Safety Program
The AARP Driver Safety Program is the nation's first and largest
classroom driver safety course designed especially for drivers age 50
and older to help people live more independently as they age. Since the
program's inception in 1979, over 12 million participants have completed
the AARP course. The AARP course covers the normal changes in vision,
hearing and reaction time associated with aging and provides practical
techniques on how to adjust to these changes. Participants also learn
how to operate their vehicles more safely in today's increasingly
challenging driving environment and also receive a thorough review of
the "rules of the road," with an emphasis on safety strategies.
Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking
statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. We caution investors that these forward-looking statements are not
guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ
materially. Investors should consider the important risks and
uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ. These important
risks and uncertainties include those discussed in our Quarterly Reports
on Form 10-Q, our 2009 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the other filings
we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no
obligation to update this release, which speaks as of the date issued.
Michelle Loxton, 860-547-7413
Source: The Hartford
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