Older Drivers Getting Safer

A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) finds that older Americans are becoming safer drivers, leaving middle-age drivers behind in the dust according to an article on FoxNews.com.

The IIHS looked at the rate of fatal crashes. For drivers age 70 and older, the fatal crash rate dropped by nearly half while for drivers ages 35 to 54, the fatal crash rate dropped 23 percent. That means about 10,000 older drivers who were predicted to be in fatal accidents, were not.

Crashes that result in injury were down too for older American drivers.

For those age 80 and older, there was a 34 percent reduction in the injury crash rate, while middle-age Americans had a 16 percent reduction in injury rate.

It may surprise many that the number of older drivers is on the rise. That may be due to Americans holding onto their licenses longer. The licensure rate increased 20 percent for drivers age 70 to 74. It could also be that more Baby Boomers are now moving into their senior years.

This is good news overall. Jacksonville car accident lawyers are pleased that more people are becoming aware of highway safety. It is possible that older Americans are restricting their own driving at night or avoiding high-speed highways.The safety of cars and highways has improved over the years and all new cars are made with airbags. Roof strengths are improving which is important in a rollover to avoid traumatic brain injury.

In some states, a vision test is required for license renewal. In 2004, Florida passed a requirement that all drivers age 80 and older pass a vision test before they renewed their license. The law required visual acuity in the weakest eye to be better than 20/200, and at least 20/70 in the other eye.

After that law went into effect, federal statistics showed that the death rate among drivers age 80 and up declined about 17 percent.