July 2020 Press Release

Safe Communities announced today there have been four fatal crashes to date, compared to eight at this time last year.

You have been a safe driver for years. For you, driving means freedom and control. As you get older, changes in your physical and mental health can affect how safely you drive.

Millions of people have arthritis. It causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in your body. If you have arthritis, talk with your family and health care provider about how it can affect your driving.

How Can Arthritis Affect the Way I Drive?
Arthritis can stop you from moving and bending your shoulders, hips, hands, head, and neck. This can limit your ability to:

  • Get into and out of your car.
  • Hold and turn your steering wheel.
  • Turn on your ignition key.
  • Fasten your seat belt.
  • Move your head quickly and fully.
  • Look over your shoulder to check for cars in your blind spot.
  • Look left and right at intersections.
  • Make turns safely.
  • Reverse your car into a parking space.
  • Press the clutch pedal.
  • Press the brake and accelerator, especially in heavy traffic or driving during rush hours.
  • Look for oncoming traffic.

Medicine for arthritis pain can make you sleepy. It may cause you to drift into another traffic lane, which can be dangerous for you and others.

What Should I Do if I Have Any of These Signs?
As soon as you notice one or more of these warning signs:

  • Tell your family or someone you trust.
  • See your health care provider.
  • Find out about treatments that can help your joint pain, swelling and stiffness, without making you sleepy.

Where Can I Learn More about Arthritis?
First, talk with your health care provider. For more information, contact:

• National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: 888-327-4236, www.nhtsa.gov

For More Information:
Lt. Angel Burgos, Ohio State Highway Patrol: 419-352-2481
Sandy Wiechman, Safe Communities Coordinator: 419-372-9353 or swiechm@bgsu.edu