“Lets Talk About Driving” bridges discussion on difficult decision

STORRS/MANSFIELD, Conn. (WTNH)–Talking to teens about driving safety is a conversation that is expected. Talking to senior drivers about the difficult decision to give up driving might be a lot more challenging.

According to the CDC, there were almost 36 million licensed drivers ages 65 and older on the roads in the U.S. An average of 586 older adults are injured every day in crashes, but seniors or older drivers may not want to give up the independence that driving provides.

Shirley Malinowski has decided the risk while out on the roads in no longer worth it. The time has come to call it quits.

“I see whatever is gonna happen if I’m in a car behind the wheel its gonna be my fault,” said Malinowski.

After a fender bender, she now leaves the car in the garage, and relies on Home Instead to help her get around.

“It’s a tremendous tremendous fear that seniors have that they are going give up their independence when they give up their driving ability,” said Valerie Eklund of Home Instead Senior Care.

Home Instead Senior Care found that 9 in 10 seniors are dependent on having a vehicle and being able to drive.

“The fear that seniors have about loosing their independence could really be alleviated if we had a conversation about what is it that is scaring you,” said Eklund.

Its the foundation of the campaign, “Let’s Talk about Driving”.

“Starting a conversation with them about what specifically it is that is making them uncomfortable behind the wheel is really where you need to begin,” said Eklund.

Often, if the conversation was sparked, many seniors gave real consideration to staying off the roads.

“Many people will admit, once they decided to give it up, it was no love lost,” said Eklund.

That includes Shirley Malinowski.

“I would rather pay someone to drive me, ” said Malinowski.

To learn more about initiating the conversation, please visit this link.