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Old age no longer has the same impact on collision rates

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has now finds that senior drivers aged 70+ are less likely to be involved in collisions than their predecessors, as well as less likely to be killed or injured in crashes when they do occur thanks to being in general better health than past generations, as well as the fact that vehicles are now “safer” than ever before.

“This should help ease fears that aging baby boomers are a safety threat,” commented Anne McCartt, the Institute’s senior vice president for research and a co-author of the study, in a statement. “Even crashes among the oldest drivers have been on a downswing.”

In fact, their accident rates have fallen faster than those considered to be middle-aged (35-54), with the greatest decline found in drivers 80-years old and over during the past 20 years, dropping nearly twice the rate as middle-aged drivers and those between 70-74 since 1997.

This is particularly important since the US Census Bureau predicts that the number of Americans in this age range is expected to more than double, from 29 million-64 million, by 2050, while the population of those who have passed their 80th birthday or more will triple, from 12 million-31 million, during the same time frame.