The number of senior drivers has increased in recent years and is expected to continue doing so. Historically, society has viewed older drivers as being incapable, inadequate, or even dangerous. But these ideas are changing.
Now, drivers 70 and older are less likely to be involved in an accident than younger drivers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) attributes this decrease in risk to the following factors:
- Better health
- Safer vehicles
- Infrastructure improvements
- Drivers license policy changes
So, what does that mean in terms of accident and fatality rates? Let’s take a look.
Accident And Survival Rates Among Senior Drivers
Senior citizens are considered more vulnerable to a car accident’s impacts due to their age, overall health, fragility, and the vehicles they drive. Statistically, that means they are more likely to be killed in an accident than younger drivers. While that is true, research is increasingly showing that older drivers are much less likely to be involved in an accident in the first place.
Accident rates among senior drivers peaked in 1997 with a record of 4,800 fatal accidents. Those numbers have changed dramatically in the years since, however. The IIHS reports the following:
- The number of senior drivers with a driver’s license doubled from 2010 to 2018.
- Fatal crash rates among senior drivers decreased by 43% from 1997 to 2018.
- Crash rates among middle-age drivers have increased while rates among drivers 70 and older have decreased.
- Between 2009 and 2017, the number of police-reported fatalities decreased by 25% for drivers ages 70-79.
Why Do Vehicles Increase Risk?
Vehicles play a role in accidents involving senior drivers because older adults often drive older cars. Older vehicles may not be equipped with safety advancements as new automobiles are. This increases the risk of injury if an accident occurs. Fortunately, officials believe that survival rates may continue to improve as more older adults choose newer vehicles with better safety features.
What To Do After An Accident
No matter your age, if you are injured in an auto accident, call Abogados Campeones. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Find out by calling us at 323-623-2113.