Approximately 10 years ago, safety experts voiced alarm in regards to the increasing rate of elderly drivers on the road. Because elderly drivers have traditionally been associated with heightened rates of preventable car accidents, these experts were deeply concerned that as the number of elderly motorists on American roads increased, so would the rate of accidents generally.
Thankfully, a recent study indicates that these experts needn’t have worried so fitfully. According to analysis recently released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), elderly motorists aged 70 and older are safer than previous generations of similarly aged motorists. Specifically, this current generation of elderly drivers is not only less likely to be involved in collisions, they are less likely to suffer serious injury or death in the event that they are involved in accidents.
According to the IIHS, two primary factors account for this positive trend. First, elderly Americans are healthier than previous generations of elderly Americans. Second, advancements in technology and safety regulations have helped to ensure that motor vehicles are safer now than they have ever been before.
This news is most welcoming. However, it is important to understand that even though elderly drivers are now safer as a general population, your elderly loved ones may not be healthy enough to drive safely. As a result, it is imperative that you encourage your loved ones to seek regular medical clearance from their physicians before driving. Failure to ensure proper eyesight and reaction time before driving can result in devastating accidents.
Source: WISTV.com, “Accident rates improving for older drivers,” Joan Lowy, Feb. 20, 2014