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Linkletter Advises Senior Drivers

June 20, 2002

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ Although he joked about getting older, television personality and producer Art Linkletter had serious advice for seniors: Ask loved ones who are dangerous drivers to stop driving.

``It is important that the one who is well be firm about things like that,″ the 89-year-old TV and radio host said Wednesday at a seminar about elderly drivers and safety.

Older people who aren’t safe drivers are often reluctant to admit it, Linkletter said.

``Independence is very closely linked to the automobile,″ he said. ``We hate to give it up and we all like to think that we’re pretty good drivers.″

About 181,000 people ages 70 and above were injured in traffic crashes in 2000, accounting for 6 percent of all people injured in crashes that year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The issue of keeping unsafe older drivers off the road has risen in Iowa because the state has one of the highest concentrations of elderly people in the nation. Nearly 42.4 percent of the state’s population is 65 and older, census figures show.

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