A recent study shows that older drivers are actually safer drivers than many other age groups. Many people believe, and previous studies have supported, that older drivers are similar to teenage drivers in terms of the frequency of car accidents and overall unsafe driving. However, the recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, show that the rate of fatal accidents in which people over 70 were involved has significantly decreased in the past decade. Interestingly enough, the number of accidents in middle age drivers has also decreased, but much less than the decrease seen in older drivers. Several theories are believed to have led to this large decline, including both stricter renewal laws for elderly drivers, as well as older drivers being more aware of what types of environments and driving situations are unsafe for them to be driving in and in turn not driving in these unsafe situations as frequently.
According to Fox News, one of the reasons for this safety increase among older drivers is likely a result of many states are imposing more rules and limitations on older drivers that seek to renew their license. These restrictions include some states requiring vision tests for older drivers, and others not allowing renewal online or even my mail among older drivers. These restrictions among older drivers help to ensure that drivers that are not safe to be on the road will not be allowed to renew their license. However, even in states that do not have strict rules for elderly drivers seeking to renew their licenses, the numbers of accidents among elderly drivers have been decreasing. The study suggests that another reason for the decrease is that even when the law does not try to impose restrictions on elderly drivers, the drivers themselves will often limit themselves. For example, many elderly drivers are aware of certain driving conditions in which they feel uncomfortable and will no longer drive in those situations, such as late at night or on high traffic highways. The combination of these two changes in recent years among elderly drivers has likely been what is reducing the number of accidents among this age group, and hopefully this trend will continue and more elderly drivers will stay safe and avoid traffic accidents. To read more about this study on the reduction in elderly car accidents, please click here.