Older Driver Safety
By: CJ Cassidy
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo --Missouri has a new program aimed at making roads safer in the Show Me State.
The project targets older drivers and federal safety officials say if it works in Missouri, they'll try it nationwide.
The drivers in question would be 65 and older and while most people might not think that's an age to worry about when it comes to drivers - the program's based on some pretty scary statistics - that might make you think twice before you get behind a wheel.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the past three years alone, more than 550 people were killed in Missouri and more than 3,300 seriously injured in accidents - all involving older drivers.
So, pioneers of the older driver safety project chose cape and four other cities - to try and help older drivers fine tune their skills behind the wheel.
"We were one of the smaller communities chosen as opposed to Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia and Springfield," Sharee Galnore with the Safe Communities Program says.
" Seniors can come to us with their car and we can talk about things: are your mirrors adjusted properly, can you reach the brake and gas pedals; are you adjusting your seat headrest right; all those things we can assist an older driver with so they can do a better job if need be," Galnore says.
Many older drivers hope the program gets the green light across the country.
"Lots of people won't admit they're slowing down good idea can't hurt," Gerald Lawrence, a Cape Senior says.
" Some people like my mother shouldn't drive after a certain age - she drove into her nineties; we had to take her car away from her. She would get lost all the time."
Starting next month - you can attend a series of meetings to help senior drivers.
The aging baby boomer population is expected to almost double the number of seniors in Missouri by the year 2020, and experts don't want to wait till then to fix the problem.