Older drivers are synonymous with being bad drivers, and many Americans assume older drivers get into more car accidents compared to younger drivers. While this stereotype has been around for quite a while, a new study suggests otherwise. The study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that older drivers have a lower risk of getting into car accidents compared to previous generations and younger drivers in the United States.
The study found that people 70 years old and older are not as likely to be in car accidents compared to previous generations. In addition, the study found that older drivers have a lower risk of being seriously injured or killed in car accidents compared to the past. Between 1997 and 2012, the number of older drivers killed in car accidents declined by 42 percent, according to the IIHS.
Why are older drivers less likely to be in car accidents now compared to previous generations? The researchers said older drivers are getting into fewer car accidents because vehicles are safer now and older drivers are healthier than they used to be. Both of these factors play a role in the declining accident rate for senior drivers in the U.S.
The finding that older drivers are involved in fewer car accidents than in the past is great news, especially as the population continues to get older and stay behind the wheel. The finding that older drivers don't get into as many car accidents as the public seems to believe also shows that older drivers can still be safe drivers as long as precautions are taken to make sure health conditions are addressed, and drivers are using safer vehicles.
Source: The Ledger, "Safety Research: Car Accident Rates for Older Drivers Improves," Joan Lowy, Feb. 20, 2014