Elderly Canadians will not give up their driver’s license

Published: August 4, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Over a quarter of Canadians plan to still hold their driver’s license well into their 80s. A survey conducted by State Farm Canada shows that 26% of respondents want to be behind the wheel as they pass their 85th birthday.

The study also showed that 10% of those asked have been involved in a collision with a senior citizen. Most respondents understand that deciding to keep driving at an old age should be considered, with 94% believing such a decision should be consulted with family members.

2% of senior citizens say they have held such a talk with family. Furthermore, 33% of respondents say they have spoken to a senior family member in regards to giving up their driver’s license. The lead cause of such advice is concern for safety.

74% cited a loss of independence as the main reason why they are unwilling to give up their driver’s license, with 12% pointing to a lack of awareness. 6% say they need their car for transportation, and 4% say the cost of taxis is too prohibitive.

“Canadians are conflicted when it comes to the balance between road safety and the autonomy associated with driving,” commented State Farm Canada media relations and spokesperson John Bordignon. “These are extremely difficult discussions for families to have. When a person is deemed unfit to drive, it can feel like a sudden loss of independence. To make the transition easier, it’s important for family members to have supportive conversations early on and explore transportation alternatives over time, so that changes in lifestyle come gradually.”