One of the most significant social trends of the new century will be the graying of the population, a fact that raises serious questions for everyone concerned with traffic safety and education.
In 1990, elderly drivers accounted for 6.7 percent of all miles driven. By 2030, according to a conservative estimate, elderly drivers will account for 18.9 percent of all vehicle miles driven, almost triple the 1990 figure. Based on current rates, the numbers of traffic fatalities involving seniors will more than triple by the year 2030.
If this expected increase occurs, the number of elderly traffic fatalities in 2030 will be 35 percent greater than the total number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 1995, a fatality number that is viewed by policymakers and the public as cause for serious concern.
Seniors tend to become more conservative on the road, driving less often at night, avoiding busy highways, and taking fewer long-distance trips to unfamiliar areas. However, older drivers are more likely than younger drivers to be involved in multi-vehicle crashes, particularly at intersections. They're also more likely than younger drivers to be seriously injured in a crash because their bodies are simply less able to withstand an impact. This raises the likelihood of increased medical and insurance costs in the future.
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Older Drivers, National Data