The number of older drivers on the road is predicted to skyrocket over
the next decade. According to the latest projections, there will be approximately
48 million drivers ages 65 and older on the road in 2020.
While traffic safety regulators know the change is coming, they are still
debating how best to address it. The concern is how best to remove dangerous
seniors from the road, while allowing other older drivers to retain their mobility.
According to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, older
drivers are on board with tougher rules. It found that more than seven
out of 10 drivers ages 65 and older support laws that require drivers
age 75 and older to renew their license in person. They also support requirements
that seniors pass a medical screening to keep their licenses.
“Even though public perception tends to unfairly characterize seniors
as a menace on the road, these findings indicate that older Americans
tend to support policies to keep themselves safer behind the wheel, making
them key allies in their mission to keep driving–smarter and longer.”
says Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
As we have previously discussed on this San Diego Injury Blog, senior drivers
are more likely to have a medical condition or use medications that can
impact their driving abilities. In addition, they are more likely to be
injured in a crash and may face a longer recovery.
However, that does not mean that all seniors are bad drivers. In fact,
they are among the best on the road in terms of safe driving behaviors.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s latest study found that
nearly 90 percent of older drivers reported no crashes in the last two
years. The same percentage of older drivers also reported no moving violations.
Seniors are also less likely to be distracted behind the wheel. Overall,
65 percent of drivers age 75 and older reported never using a cell phone
while driving compared to only 48 percent of the younger “older”
drivers (those age 65-69) who never use a cell phone while driving.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a
San Diego motor vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to
a San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage
for a free consultation.