The Rand Corp has issued the results of its study of drivers 65 and older. What they discovered is that the 65 and older group are only 33% more likely to cause auto accidents than younger drivers ages 18 to 25 and have only a slightly increased chance over those age 26 to 64.
The study looked at auto accident results in 2001 and showed that 65 year olds, roughly 15% of the population, caused only about 7% of all car crashes. The 18 to 25 age group, however, represented only 13% of the population but caused 43% of all auto accidents that year.
Unfortunately, because of their health and perhaps frail condition, our senior ciitzens are much more likely to be injured and 7 times more apt to killed in car crash than their grandchildren ages 18 to 25.
“Seniors who drive pose a much larger risk to themselves than to others,” Loughran said. “As the U.S. population ages, injury rates will increase — not because seniors cause more accidents, but because seniors are more vulnerable to injury when they get into an accident.”
The researchers also found there is little evidence to support additional testing or licensing as imposed by some states. The reasons behind this are (1) seniors often have self-imposed restrictions on themselves, such as not driving at night or during high traffic volume which younger drivers seldom do and (2) they stop driving altogether. So even though their driving skills may decline to their health, they compensate by changing their driving habits and therefore become less riskier drivers.
For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Car and Motorcycle Accidents.