Older drivers involved in increasing number of accidents
On behalf of Law Offices of Steven H. Dorne posted in Car Accidents on November 6, 2018.
The U.S. population continues to trend older as people live longer. Moreover, older people are remaining active and mobile later in life. However, the transportation research group TRIP has tracked higher rate of injuries and fatalities among older drivers. With 46 million people 65 or older making up 15 percent of the population, other drivers as well as friends and family need to be ware that older drivers can be a hazard to themselves and others on the road.
Older drivers dying at twice the rate of all drivers
The Washington, DC-based group announced that the number of accidents including at least one driver 65 years old or older is up 22 percent between 2012 and 2016 — the number of fatalities among all drivers is up 11 percent. The increase in the number of drivers 65 and older killed in motor vehicle crashes during the same period is also precipitously high at 21 percent.
Based on projections, the study also points out that the size of this age group will reach 24 percent by 2060 and the number of licensed drivers will be 38 percent. Proportionately speaking, this will a 4 percent increase.
What can be done
TRIP made several recommendations. These include:
- Wider lanes
- Larger lettering on signs
- More prominent milepost signage
- Increased education regarding road safety directed at elderly
- Provide more and safer options for transportation besides driving
- Use of safer vehicles, including driverless ones
Keeping roads safe today
Defensive driving is always important to exercising safe driving habits. Children and friends, however, may also need to monitor the driving of elderly loved ones. Rather than telling them they should not drive, it is recommended to arrange alternate forms of transportation, such as a car service or access to safe forms of public transportation. The above recommendations as well as proactive engagement can make headway reducing the number of injuries and fatalities of drivers and victims in all age groups.