"FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION OLDER DRIVER" PROGRAM
An aging population means an increase in the number of senior drivers on the road. This also means that officials are starting to design highways with older drivers in mind and that senior drivers are impacting design of roadways and highways.
The “Federal Highway Administration Older Driver” Program aims to increase understanding and awareness of elderly driver needs and abilities, analyze current highway design standards, and implement solutions through traffic control and geometric design. The “Transportation Research Board's Transportation in an Aging Society also helped shaped the program.
The Older Driver Highway Design Handbook provides a guide for how to better design roadways for senior drivers. The book is intended for highway designers and traffic engineering professionals. The handbook provides recommendations for geometrics, signing, and pavement markings in four major areas of highway design and traffic engineering:
- At-grade intersections
- Roadway curvature and passing zones
- Construction/work zones
An older Driver Highway Design Workshop is available as a companion for the Older Driver Highway Design Handbook. The workshop is for state departments of transportation (DOTs), and local officials and state and local design and traffic engineers. The goal is to increase awareness of aging by discussing the changes that occur with aging and to familiarize them with the recommendations for older drivers in the handbook.
The “Older Driver Program” started as a result of the "Improved Highway Travel for an Aging Population" study, which analyzed if highway design met the needs and capabilities of senior drivers. The idea was that properly designed highways will reduce the number of accidents for all drivers and allow senior drivers to remain driving and mobile throughout their life spans.