Facts About Older Drivers -
Are older drivers safe?
Each and every year the cries get louder to begin reinstating licensing tests for older drivers. Is it fair? Maybe not, but is it a good idea? Probably so.
Let's take a quick look at the stats surrounding elderly drivers and what they mean for you.
- There are over 33,000,000 licensed drivers over the age of 65 in the U.S.
- Each year about 190,000 "older" adults are injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes. That's about 500 a day.
- Per miles traveled, fatal crashes involving older drivers goes up starting at age 75 and sharply increases at 80+.
- Good news is, the rate of elderly driving fatalities has been decreasing steadily since the 1960s.
- Older drivers are most likely to crash when merging, angle crashes, and particularly at intersections.
So, do older drivers need to be screened year after year once they hit a certain age? Should they be required to take a defensive driving class once they hit their 70s, their 80s, their 90s? It's hard to say. Results of studies have been mixed.
At the very least, family members of older drivers should pay close attention to their ability to drive safely. They should be encouraged to regularly have their eyes checked and of course, a physician may be able to add insight if there are questions about their ability to operate a motor vehicle.