As the nation ages, many people predicted that more elderly drivers would mean more accidents on highways, byways and neighborhood streets throughout Georgia and across the United States. However, new information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicates that drivers 70 years old and older are safer drivers than their predecessors, causing less serious crashes and less serious injuries.
Older drivers are travelling more miles while at the same time getting involved in fewer and fewer car accidents. As we previously discussed, the IIHS is partially crediting the decline in serious car accidents involving drivers over 70 to safer vehicles.
The IIHS also credits the improvement in fatal crash statistics - down by 42 percent for older drivers from 1997 to 2012 - to improvements in the health of the aging population. With the number of miles driven by older drivers increasing, the IIHS believes this indicates that older drivers are staying active and engaged, likely due to improved health conditions.
Motor vehicle accidents involving older drivers are also less likely to result in the death of those drivers, according to IIHS. While older drivers are still more likely to sustain fatal injuries in a crash than middle age drivers, the likelihood is decreasing.
"Older drivers are not only less likely to crash in recent years, they also are sharing in the benefits of newer and safer vehicles. It also helps that older people in general are more fit than in years past, with better access to emergency services and health care," noted Anne McCartt of IIHS.
Source: Insurance Journal, "Grandpa and Grandma Much Safer Behind the Wheel Than Predicted," February 25, 2014