More Older Drivers May Mean More Fatal Car Accidents

The aging population of baby boomers will create a large population of drivers 65 and older. Not only will this population face the issue of how to remain safe and avoid car accidents on the road, they will also face the challenge of remaining mobile because so many aging baby boomers will live out their golden years in their suburban homes.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board one in five drivers with be age 65 or older in the next 15 years. The number of drivers age 65 and older today is around 30 million. According to the Government Accountability Office that number will increase to 57 million by the year 2030. Coupled with these statistics is the fact that people normally outlive their ability to drive. On average men normally outlive their ability to drive by six years. Women on average outlive their ability to drive by 10 years. In addition, fewer retirees are choosing to relocate and will continue to live in suburbs. The implication of all these factors is that seniors may face mobility issues and their ability to drive fades,

Though older drivers are often stereotyped for being dangerous drivers, healthy elderly drivers are no more dangerous than younger drivers. However, age-related medical conditions can affect the elderly’s ability to drive. For example, a 40-year-old driver needs 20 times more light to see at night than a 20-year-old. Generally, older drivers also have slower reflexes and take longer to judge speed and distance than younger drivers. Older drivers are also less flexible and decreased flexibility can impede a driver’s ability to look behind and around the automobile.

The age at which the rate of fatal car accidents begins to increase in comparison to other driver age groups is at the age of 75. The rate of fatal accidents increases as age increases past age 75. Drivers age 85 and older suffer higher rates of fatality than teenage drivers and drivers in their early 20s. The major reason why elderly drivers suffer fatal car accidents is because they are more frail than younger drivers and are therefore not as likely to survive an accident and need a Shreveport DWI lawyer after. The majority of the time drivers age 70 or older kill themselves in car crashes they cause. Only sixteen percent of elderly drivers die as passengers.