The majority of car accidents are caused by the very young and the very old. The elderly may not be viewed as a threat as much as their younger counterparts, but the number of deaths caused by senior drivers can be very alarming. Seniors who are more than 65 years years old are already considered high-risk drivers and are likely to get involved in a vehicular accident on the road, but in Florida, the US state with the highest population of elderly, there are numerous cases of drivers over the age of 80 plowing their vehicles directly toward public areas. When these seniors are out driving on the streets, many are either going to an appointment with their doctors or running personal errands.
Note that these drivers have passed both written and visual tests. None of them have been known to be under the influence of medication as well. However, despite of that, senior drivers present a different kind of problem because they cannot control their declining physical abilities. A majority of seniors even continue to drive without being aware that they aren't as fit as they used to be.
By 2025, drivers 65 and older are set to represent 25 percent of the driving population. What action should be done to protect the public from the risks that come along with this statistic? Banning all seniors from taking the wheel will be unfair to those who are still capable. Running tests will be time-consuming as well since conducting a personal investigation on an individual's driving behavior can take several months. Luckily, this generation has a lot of options when it comes to securing the safety of our loved ones. One of the common solutions for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's disease is GPS tracking technology.
Why Getting GPS Trackers for Senior Drivers Is a Good Idea
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
There happens to be a lot of issues surrounding senior drivers, but their overall physical condition is a major concern for other motorists. As an individual ages, their body becomes more and more fragile. So everything from losing their grip on the steering wheel to accidentally stepping on the accelerator is enough to cause accidents.
Among the serious medical conditions that are affecting some of our elderly are dementia and Alzheimer's disease. So before incorporating vehicle tracking technology such as a GPS to help senior drivers, they should have their family members see a licensed expert to point out the early symptoms.
Observation can also be done by the people who personally know the senior driver, could be their family members and loved ones. So if you happen to have a parent or relative whose senses are slowly degenerating as they age, you might want to check the common warning signs associated with dangerous driving among seniors:
- Getting lost or disoriented easily, even in familiar areas. It is important that family members constantly contact the senior driver, and they might want to try accompanying them while driving to check on how well they navigate. Note that when a driver finds himself lost in an area he has constantly been driving through before may be an early sign of dementia.
- Diminished eyesight. Eyeglasses can be an option for drivers who have eye problems. However, this will be useless for night driving or driving at twilight.
- A driver has numerous close calls. How many times has the senior driver nearly hit a pedestrian? Or have they ever come close to colliding with another vehicle? Try to check the vehicle for scrapes or dents to determine if they have actually hit something while driving. This may suggest that they have difficulty figuring out distances or staying within their designated driving lanes.
- Difficulty completing tasks. People with Alzheimer's often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes they may have trouble driving to a familiar location, organizing a grocery list or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
- Trouble understanding visual images. For some seniors, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer's. This may lead to troubles in reading traffic signs. They may also have problems judging distance and determining color or contrast, causing issues with driving.
GPS trackers for senior drivers
Driving and traveling are extremely beneficial for older people. It helps keep their mind active and gives them a sense of independence as they approach their golden years. In 2014, a total of 4,192 individuals aged 70 and older died in motor vehicular crashes. Not only do you have to worry about the driver's own safety, you also have to think about the welfare of the other pedestrians and motorists.
The privilege to drive is something that you cannot just take away from your parents. After all, it helps keep their mind active and it encourages independence. Many older adults would take it as an insult when their driving privileges are revoked. So to always keep them safe on the road, you can opt to make use of GPS trackers for elderly drivers. Families have been taking matters into their own hands by using tracking systems such as Tracki to make it easier for them to monitor their senior loved ones’ driving activity and location at all times.
The biggest concern for those who are taking care of elders with memory-related illnesses is the patient’s tendency to get lost even in familiar places. Imagine that when they’re driving toward their destination! With GPS trackers, families will be able to keep tabs on their elderly loved ones at risk. The device can help keep the elderly safe by providing real-time updates on their whereabouts. Whether they are on the road doing errands or at the clinic for their checkups, the device will give you their exact location.
Safe zone alerts
GPS trackers are capable of tracking and recording every address your parents have gone to. Additionally, they let you set up a virtual fence around a particular area. The moment the wearer of the device steps out of the predefined safety zone, you’ll be immediately notified and informed of their location. In the event they are unable to find their way home, you will be able to find them instantly and lead them back. Elderly drivers are also common targets for car theft. A GPS device for elderly drivers can serve as a method to track stolen vehicle quickly and to report the perpetrators to authorities.
Vehicle information such as location, speed, acceleration, brakes, RPM, fuel efficiency, and engine data are among the vital information that some GPS trackers can gather and analyze. Its live tracking system allows you to receive this data automatically once the predefined limits are breached. Tracking this data is necessary to avoid unnecessary wear and tear and vehicular accidents due to driving habits. Suitable GPS tracking devices like Tracki enable you to monitor move alerts and speeding alerts for your senior loved one’s vehicle. Additional features include routes taken, speed, and activities such as abrupt stopping or sudden acceleration.
GPS trackers have a convenient panic or SOS button proven to be useful in emergency situations. With this safety feature, it becomes easier for elderly loved ones to ask for help when necessary. Once pressed, the device will instantly send an alert message to you and the authorities, giving you directions to the location of the wearer. Some devices even provide two-way communication systems so the wearer can deliver a message directly to the watcher without delay.
Tracki’s 3G GPS tracker
Now is the right time to equip your elderly parents' vehicles with GPS tracking technology as the number of accidents involving older adults are on the rise. With GPS trackers like Tracki, you can get real-time reports on their driving behavior, whereabouts, and movements. You may also use all these reports later on to determine if your driver is still fit to sit behind the wheel. This is a better option than undergoing screen tests as these reports may come in months late and a majority of them may not be accurate anymore.
Tracki is a tracking device packed with several features. Users can opt to connect this to vehicles in order to monitor the driving activity of a senior driver. This is the perfect GPS device for those who wish to keep their elderly loved ones safe but have to tend to other important commitments throughout the day. Installation is not an issue either as you only need to install the device with the available Tracki vehicle kits. After it is hardwired or plugged, users no longer need to worry about the tracking device ever running out of batteries.
Tracki is clear, accurate, and easy to use—three important things you need to consider if you want a device that can help you keep senior drivers safe from any harm. You are likely to get quality over a reasonable price. It is a smart investment if you really want to ensure the safety of your loved ones in general, from kids and teens to pets.