2013-10-01


More than half of adult children of seniors included in a new survey said they were concerned about their parents’ driving abilities, but far fewer are actually having conversations about it.

Liberty Mutual Insurance in the U.S. reported that 55% of “baby boomers” expressed concern over their senior parents’ driving, but only 23% are having conversations with their parents about it. Further, 29% said they are likely to avoid the conversation entirely.

“Nine in 10 boomer children of senior drivers think it is important to have driving conversations with their aging parents, but few are taking action – thus, not addressing potential safety risks on the roads,” noted David Melton, driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual Insurance and managing director of global safety.

Boomer children cite the following as top concerns associated with their senior parents” driving:

  • Poor eyesight: 47%
  • Drives too slow: 38%
  • Poor hearing: 30%
  • Drives distracted: 25%

Those concerns are valid, Liberty Mutual says, with 17% of all U.S. traffic fatalities happening to older individuals, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 2011, 5,401 people aged 65 and older were killed and 185,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes.

Still, less than half (38%) of boomer children of senior drivers think that their parents will understand and be open to a discussion about giving up driving, according to Liberty Mutual.

Most of the boomer children fear the outcome will be negative, predicting the following reactions:

  • 46% think their parents will be angry or hurt
  • 31% think their parents will say it is too hard to find other modes of transportation
  • 22% think their parents will be more determined to keep driving