Crash Rates in Older Drivers Have Decreased

Ten years ago there were concerns about the aging population and the impact they could have on our nation’s roads. It was believed that the number of motor vehicle accidents would increase significantly. Yet a new study indicates the opposite has happened — crash rates among older drivers have actually improved.

Additionally, research has indicated that drivers who are 70 years and older are not only less likely to be involved in a collision, but also have a decreased risk of injury or death. How can this be? It’s believed that two factors have played a role. One is that older adults are healthier today than in previous years, and the other is that vehicles are safer. However, one should note that traffic fatalities are higher for working drivers aged 65 and older.

Although there have been decreases in crash rates across the board, older drivers have seen the biggest drops. For them, fatal accidents have decreased 42 percent between the years 1997 and 2012. But the greatest decrease in rates was seen in drivers 80 years old and older.

The study found that older adults drive more today than in previous years, which could be attributed to better mental and physical health. But there are also more and more adults working past retirement age, which also means more of them are commuting.

These surprising results are good news,  considering it’s projected that by the year 2050, there will be about 64 million people aged 70 and older (compared to 29 million in 2012). This will account for approximately 16 percent of our population.

Determining Fault When Involved in an Accident with an Older Driver

Age doesn’t really become an issue in an accident, unless there is evidence that the individual’s driving skills have become impaired. To stay current on things like auto recalls – also a contributing factor in car crashes – sign up for our newsletter Torts and More.

Other causes of accidents, especially relating to older drivers, could be problems with vision, hearing or even medical conditions that interfere with reaction time or attention. To learn if these are issues that may have contributed to an accident, contact a lawyer at Gacovino, Lake & Associates 800-550-0000.

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