Many Concerned Family Members Not Talking To Older Relatives About Their Driving

New survey from The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence explores family conversations about driving safety

HARTFORD, Conn.--()--Almost half of adults concerned about an older relative’s driving have not talked to their older relative about their concerns, according to a new survey from The Hartford. In addition, 40 percent of adults with concerns have not observed their older relative’s driving by being a passenger in their car.

“It’s important for families to have thoughtful conversations with their loved ones about driving,” said Jodi Olshevski, executive director of The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence. “Getting into the passenger seat to get a bird’s eye view of the older driver can help worried families find out if their concerns are valid. Once families have the facts, they will be in a better position to help.”

Common reasons cited by the 14 percent of adults (18+) with concerns about an older relative’s driving are:

  • Medical or health issues (47 percent);
  • Family member/friend mentioned it (25 percent);
  • Driving incident or accident (25 percent); and
  • Older driver expressed concern over driving tasks (20 percent).

Family Relationships and Aging Drivers

While older drivers prefer to hear from relatives about their driving ability, some family members may disagree on whether there is cause for concern. The study found:

  • 52 percent say all siblings/other family members agree on whether there is cause for concern;
  • 23 percent say they do not agree with siblings/other family members on whether there is cause for concern;
  • 20 percent say they have not discussed their concerns with another sibling/family member; and
  • 5 percent say they have no other sibling/family member involved.

In addition to disagreement on whether there is cause for concern, there may also be differing opinions on how to approach the driver. Among adults with siblings/family members that all agree that there is cause for concern, 33 percent do not agree on how to approach the relative.

Having the Talk

Transitioning from driver to passenger can be deeply emotional, which may cause families to hesitate to have the conversation. However, the study revealed that 44 percent of concerned adults say the conversation went better than they expected.

The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence has developed resources, such as a list of warning signs for family members to use in the car, conversation starters, worksheets and other tips to help families address the topic and foster meaningful family conversations.

Survey Methodology

The Hartford’s 2014 Family Conversations with Older Drivers Survey was fielded online by TNS from Oct. 16, 2014 to Nov. 2, 2014 and was completed by 4,884 adults 18+ and representative of the U.S. household population.

About The Hartford

With more than 200 years of expertise, The Hartford (NYSE: HIG) is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. The company is widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust and integrity. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at www.thehartford.com. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheHartford. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheHartford.

About The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence

The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence creates innovative business solutions for the mature market. Staffed by gerontologists, the center is uniquely positioned to apply knowledge of aging to develop one-of-a-kind products and services for The Hartford's customers, and specialized training for The Hartford's employees. The center conducts original research in partnership with academic institutions and produces public education programs on safety, mobility and independence. The Hartford has had this in-house expertise since 1984, guiding The Hartford to unparalleled success in understanding and serving the mature market.

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Contacts

Media Contact:
The Hartford
Heather Serignese, 860-547-3301
Heather.Serignese@TheHartford.com

Release Summary

Almost half of adults concerned about an older relative’s driving have not talked to their older relative about their concerns, according to a new survey from The Hartford.

Contacts

Media Contact:
The Hartford
Heather Serignese, 860-547-3301
Heather.Serignese@TheHartford.com