Ottawa, Ontario – New infrastructure improvements could reduce the number of collisions involving senior drivers, according to a new report from the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).
“Senior drivers have the second-highest crash rate amongst Canadian motorists,” said CAA president Tim Shearman. “In 10 years, senior drivers will soon represent one in four Canadian motorists, so there is a need to prepare our roads for this growing demographic now.”
Shearman said that scientific research that shows why seniors crash and what can be done to cut down on collisions points to new and upgraded infrastructure as being among the most important solutions. “Some basic infrastructure upgrades could go a long way to reducing collisions involving senior drivers,” he said. “Some of the necessary upgrades include improvements to intersections, signs, and road delineation.”
Improvements would include dedicated turning lanes and signals, which would avoid the problem of seniors having to judge gaps in oncoming traffic when turning; better paint markings and sight lines at intersections; brighter red lights; larger signs with clearer writing; brighter and more reflective yellow centre lines; adding more signs advising drivers of pending actions such as exits or turns; and lengthening merge lanes on highways.
“None of the infrastructure changes that we are suggesting require reinventing the wheel,” Shearman said. “These are well-researched, simple upgrades that have a positive safety impact on senior drivers, while simultaneously making our roads safer for everyone.”