Elderly Car Accidents

Elderly Car Accidents decrease for Senior Citizens

The latest research indicates that poor driving among the elderly is an exaggerated stereotype caused by videos and stories like “Woman, 86, cited for going wrong-way on highway.”  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released statistics that show we should lay off the horn when it comes to judging the ability of elderly drivers.

Statistics show that elderly car accidents among today’s drivers aged 70 and older are less likely than previous generations.  And they are less likely to be killed or seriously injured if they do crash.  This is according to a study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

A decade ago, safety researchers expressed concern over an aging population and elderly car accidents.  They were concerned that traffic accidents would increase as the nation’s elderly population increased the number of older drivers on the road. But recent statistics are showing that elderly car accidents have significantly improved over the past decade. The improvement is attributed to today’s safer vehicles and healthier seniors.

The AAA survey of 15 years of national crash data show motorists in their 80’s have half the crash rate as teens.  And the numbers would likely be even better if most seniors were driving cars that suited their needs.  With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, only one in 10 senior drivers operate “smart cars” that could decrease elderly car accidents even more. AAA’s research shows vehicles with features like larger dashboard controls can help with health conditions such as fading vision.  Experts are increasingly advocating matching vehicle features with the specific health concerns of older drivers. That could be anything from six-way adjustable seats for people with limited knee range to thicker steering wheels and keyless entry for people with stiff fingers.

The AAA also offers a website to help seniors find the right vehicles and accessories to make driving more comfortable and safer: seniordriving.aaa.com.

As noted in Philly.com, 70-80 year old drivers are really different than past generation elderly drivers. They learned to drive in a different era and are more comfortable driving in freeway situations. This is important today, because we are seeing dramatic increases in older workers staying in the labor force and continuing to work and commute well past 65.

The AARP said the report dismisses misconceptions about elderly car accidents and reveals positive trends related to older drivers.”

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