Seniors Becoming Safer Drivers
The old prejudice is that elderly drivers are slow and dangerous behind the wheel, but a recent study has proven that incorrect.
Older people are driving more and were involved in far fewer fatal accidents over the last 10 years, according to a new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The rate of fatal accidents involving senior citizens over the age of 70 dropped 37 percent from 1997 to 2008, the study showed, with the steepest drops coming from drivers above the age of 80.
According to the study, the rate of decline for drivers over 70 was far greater than those for drivers between the ages of 35 and 54. The decline for that age group was only 23 percent. The study also found that elderly drivers were 2.9 times more likely to die in police-reported crashes than those in the younger demographic, but that number declined significantly from 1997.
The study said that the reasons for these drops aren't entirely clear, but a report from the Washington Post posited that seniors take driving seriously and, being aware of their own limitations, are more vigilant and careful behind the wheel.