|Motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people 70 years and older, 1975-2019|
How big is the problem? In 2018, almost 7,700 older adults (aged 65+) were killed in traffic crashes, and more than 250,000 were treated in emergency departments for crash injuries. This means that each day, more than 20 older adults are killed and almost 700 are injured in crashes.
Drivers ages 16-17 continue to have the highest rates of crash involvement, injuries to themselves and others and deaths of others in crashes in which they are involved. Drivers age 80 and older have the highest rates of driver deaths. Drivers ages 60-69 were the safest drivers by most measures examined.
Advancing age can bring impairments that affect driving ability. Drivers age 70 and older have higher fatal crash rates per mile traveled than middle-aged drivers.
As expected, the prevalence of driving declined sharply with increasing age, ranging from 88% of men in their early 70s to 55% of those aged 85 years or older. Among women, the prevalence of driving ranged from 70% among those aged 70 to 74 years of age to 22% among those aged 85 years or older.
The study finds that older drivers, who represent 15 percent of all licensed drivers, cause 7 percent of all two-car accidents (both fatal and nonfatal). Younger drivers, on the other hand, who represent 13 percent of all licensed drivers, cause 43 percent of all two-car accidents.
Falls. The number one cause of fatal injury among seniors is from falls. An estimated one-third of seniors in the United States, age 65 and older, will experience a fall each year. These statistics are generated from reported falls – the actual number is likely much larger.
The leading cause of accidental death for older drivers is a car crash. During the 1990’s, people over 85 were the fastest growing group of drivers in the United States. By 2030, twenty percent of Americans will be over 65.
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the safest drivers are in the age group between 64 and 69 years old.
Who is most at risk? The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teens aged 16–19 than among any other age group. In fact, per mile driven, teen drivers in this age group are nearly three times as likely as drivers aged 20 or older to be in a fatal crash.
Conclusion: Drivers age 90 and above were at no greater driving risk than those one decade younger. MMSE orientation questions may be useful to assist in identifying which oldest old drivers could benefit from a comprehensive driving evaluation including an on-road test.
People age 70 and older are more likely to crash than any other age group besides drivers age 25 and younger. And because older drivers are more fragile, they are more likely to get hurt or die from these crashes. There’s no set age when everyone should stop driving.
Key Points of This Article: Older drivers cause accidents most often by missing traffic lights and signs at busy intersections, driving the wrong way, and pose extra dangers by driving impaired by medications or when vision is hindered.
The youngest age in any state that a driver can obtain a learner’s permit is 14 years old, and the highest age is 16 years old. Restricted licenses can be obtained anywhere from 14.5 years to 17 years old, and full licenses are granted between 16 to 18 years old.
Number of Fatal Crashes Speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crashes. The economic cost to society of speeding-related crashes is estimated by NHTSA to be $40.4 billion per year.
In New South Wales, drivers from the age of 75 must start annual medical assessments to retain a licence. When you reach 85, in addition to the annual medical examination, you must pass a practical driving test every second year to keep your unrestricted drivers licence.