According to research and news sources, elderly drivers (70 and over) are less likely to be involved in car accidents than previous generations of older motorists. About ten years ago, researchers expressed concern for the growing population of elderly drivers and the increasing possibility of car accidents.
Today, research suggests that these predictions were wrong. According to one news source, the increasing emphasis on vehicle safety could be responsible for the shift. As manufacturers create safer vehicles, senior drivers and less likely to be involved in accidents.
Additionally, medical advancements allow older citizens to remain healthier longer, which could lead to increased awareness and better sight – all factors than can improve behind-the-wheel safety.
Elderly Drivers and Car Accident Statistics
From 1997 to 2012, the number of fatal car accidents that involved an elderly person fell 42% per licensed driver. This same number fell 30% for middle-aged drivers. According to one study, drivers 80 years and older showed the greatest amount of improvement.
One researcher said that these statistics should give all drivers peace of mind. ” No matter how we looked at the fatal crash data for this age group — by licensed drivers or miles driven — the fatal crash involvement rates for drivers 70 and older declined, and did so at a faster pace than the rates for drivers ages 35 to 54.”
Statistics also showed that elderly drivers tend to drive more than previous generations. In other words, the percentage of elderly drivers involved in car accidents declined even though older drivers put in more time on the road.
AARP commented that the study will help dismiss myths and stereotypes about the growing elderly population, while highlighting constructive trends related to elderly motorists.