Older Drivers an Increasing Crash Risk

February 20, 2018

Are older drivers really a problem? All of our lives we’ve heard stories and jokes about their driving behavior and the problems they cause on the roads. But is this a real concern or just a case of stereotyping and ageism? If you are an older driver (age sixty-five and above), or you’re concerned about them, you want to know the facts. Let’s take a look.

More Seniors, More Accidents

In 2016, the most recent year with full data, the number of drivers sixty-five and older involved in fatal crashes was up 8.2 percent (noticeably more than the 5.6 percent increase in all fatal crashes for the year). The only category with a larger increase was young drivers (under age sixteen).

That increase by itself might not be alarming, but some underlying numbers could be. Over the past ten years, the number of drivers age sixty-five and over has increased by 33 percent, far more than the 7.5 percent overall increase. Drivers in that age category have been involved in a disproportionate increase in fatal crashes over that time period: They’re up 19.9 percent over ten years (they were down for every other age group, and down more than 7 percent overall).

California: Ahead of the Curve

Can you believe that as soon as eight years from now as many as one in four licensed drivers in California will be over the age of sixty-five? That’s a possibility the CHP noted not long ago in a press release announcing a new, free driver safety course for older drivers. The course is touted as a refresher, designed to help seniors evaluate their own abilities and improve their safe driving skills.

It’s too soon to tell if the message will get across. A report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 90 percent of older drivers have not installed any equipment on their vehicles to make them safer and easier to handle. These devices aren’t meant to be simple conveniences but are instead meant to improve vehicle safety while allowing seniors to continue driving as they age.

Safer for Seniors, Safer for Everyone

Older drivers face challenges, but so do all of us, and making driving safer for older drivers can help everyone. Some of the devices AAA looked at (such as extra mirrors to remove blind spots) would help all drivers.

Those who look at traffic safety know this well. Since 1998, the Federal Highway Administration has recognized that the “typical” driver and pedestrian in the twenty-first century are both likely to be sixty-five or over, and it regularly issues a road design handbook that takes this into account (while applying ideas and principles that improve roadway safety for all users).

Orange County Car Accident Lawyer

When you’ve been in a car crash, the most important thing to you isn’t knowing how old the other driver is, but knowing that you’ll be compensated for all repair costs and medical expenses that you face. Regardless of how the crash happened and who was driving, you need an experienced automobile accident attorney to help with your case.

At Kohan & Bablove, Injury Attorneys, we’ve helped hundreds of clients reach the settlements they need to put their lives back on track. Call us today at 1-844-404-2400 or contact us online through the form below to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.