Tradition has it that drivers start life as dangerous before maturing in to safer driving habits in middle age. Once they hit 70, they then become more of a liability to themselves and others. A new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) suggests that this is not true. Younger drivers remain the most dangerous category, yet those over 70 have fewer crashes than those between 35 and 54.
Older drivers are crashing less than they used to
The IIHS found that crashes involving drivers age 70 or over dropped 43% between 1997 and 2018. Those involving drivers age 35 to 54 years old only decreased by 21%. They measured it per 100,000 licensed drivers. There are now more senior drivers than ever holding licenses, so this is positive news.
However, those over 70 are still more likely to crash per mile driven than their middle-aged counterparts. When they do crash, it is more likely to be fatal. This suggests that many older people keep their license, even though they do not use their car often or go far.
People tend to drive slower as they age. Your grandma is not likely to be scrolling through social media as she drives.
How can I make sure that my older relatives are safe to drive?
If you are unsure about how well a parent or grandparent drives, take a ride in the car with them. If you worry about their sight and hearing, take them to have it checked. You should also check with their doctor on how any medical conditions or prescription drugs they take can affect driving.
Any car crash can have catastrophic consequences. However careful someone is, it only takes one negligent or reckless driver to crash in to them. Older bodies are more fragile, so seeking compensation will be crucial to covering expenses and damages.