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Study Finds Older Drivers Welcome Stricter Rules

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 contact a San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.