NIOSH fact sheet aimed at keeping older workers safe behind the wheel
Washington – Drivers 55 and older face double the risk of dying in a work-related motor vehicle crash than younger workers, according to a new fact sheet from NIOSH on how employers and workers can prevent crashes involving older drivers.
Among employees 55 and older, crashes make up 32 percent of work-related fatalities. The fact sheet details age-related physical and cognitive changes – such as decreased eyesight, hearing loss and diminished cognitive abilities – that can affect an older worker’s driving. Accommodating these changes can help keep older drivers safe, NIOSH states.
Employers can implement and enforce the following safety policies:
- Require safety belt use.
- Address travel, such as considering if work can be accomplished without driving.
- Prevent distracted driving by banning texting while driving.
- Discourage drowsy driving by permitting breaks and allowing workers to get enough sleep.
- Prohibit impaired driving.
- Encourage safe driving by offering training and pointing out vehicle safety features.
Older workers can do the following:
- Always wear a safety belt while driving.
- Discuss your medication’s and medical conditions’ effects on driving with your doctor.
- Be healthy.
- Visit a doctor if you’re often tired.
- Have an eye exam every one to two years.
- Talk to your boss if you have trouble driving.