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Executive Summaries

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April 19, 2016

Research conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network, indicates that surveyed North American seniors are still very active on the road, with nearly two-thirds (63%) driving three to five days a week, and more than half (56%) averaging more than 25 miles per week. In particular, the surveyed seniors in their 70s are more likely than those in their 80s to drive at least once a day (and those in their 70s also tend to feel more comfortable driving themselves).

The survey results reiterated that these seniors are heavily dependent upon having a car and driving (particularly those in their 70s vs. those 80+)—this ability gives them independence and freedom to do what they want, wherever and whenever they want. Therefore, it’s not surprising that this loss of independence—along with an increased reliance on family and friends to get around—are the things that most concern them with losing their ability to drive. To that end, nearly half of these seniors are at least somewhat concerned with losing their driving ability.

As a whole, friends and family are likely going to be the key resource that senior drivers most rely on if they’re not able to drive. Although current drivers don’t want to have to rely on family and friends to get around, this is the transportation option they say they most frequently have access to and actually use. Similarly, giving up driving has made former drivers more reliant on family and friends, who have become their primary sources of transportation.

Let’s Talk about Driving℠ Executive Summary U.S. Survey Results

Current Drivers

  • North American seniors are dependent on driving; nearly nine in 10 (87%) surveyed seniors are very or totally dependent on having a car and being able to drive. Primarily, they appreciate the freedom and independence that driving can provide (and they’re simply used to driving).
  • Driving at night is the primary concern surveyed senior drivers have; 41% say they are less comfortable with this than they used to be. Driving during rush hour (21%), on the highways (16%) and downtown (15%) are other situations in which these senior drivers feel less comfortable.

Former Drivers

  • The majority of former drivers (85%) voluntarily stopped driving. The factor most often prompting this decision was a medical issue/change—such as a medication change, a reduction in eyesight, etc. (which could be an indication that they may not have had much of a choice in stopping).
  • Approximately three-fourths (76%) of surveyed former drivers say that, since giving up driving, they most often rely on family members who are close by and able to drive. Friends are also an alternative source of transport (40%).

Download the full Let’s Talk about Driving℠ Executive Summary, U.S. Survey Results (PDF, 2.5 MB)

Let’s Talk about Driving℠ Executive Summary Canadian Results

Current Drivers

  • North American seniors are dependent on driving; nearly nine in 10 (87%) surveyed seniors are very or totally dependent on having a car and being able to drive. Primarily, they appreciate the freedom and independence that driving can provide (and they’re simply used to driving).
  • Driving at night is the primary concern surveyed senior drivers have; 41% say they are less comfortable with this than they used to be. Driving during rush hour (21%), on the highways (16%) and downtown (15%) are other situations in which these senior drivers feel less comfortable.

Former Drivers

  • The majority of former drivers (85%) voluntarily stopped driving. The factor most often prompting this decision was a medical issue/change—such as a medication change, a reduction in eyesight, etc. (which could be an indication that they may not have had much of a choice in stopping).
  • Approximately three-fourths (76%) of surveyed former drivers say that, since giving up driving, they most often rely on family members who are close by and able to drive. Friends are also an alternative source of transport (40%).

Download the full Let’s Talk about Driving℠ Executive Summary, Canadian Survey Results (PDF, 2.5 MB)

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