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Surge in Elderly Drivers Raising Safety Concerns

Baby boomers are leading a surge in the numbers of older drivers and that's stirring safety concerns. By 2025, one in five drivers on the...
November 30, 2010

Baby boomers are leading a surge in the numbers of older drivers and that's stirring safety concerns. By 2025, one in five drivers on the road will be 65 years old or older. "The issue of older drivers has been a huge demographic and political challenge," says Deborah Hersman, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board. Elderly drivers, as a class, aren't necessarily more of a safety menace than teens or middle-aged drivers. Fatality rates among older drivers have been declining in recent years faster than the fatality rates for middle-aged drivers, according to research by Anne McCartt and Ivan Cheung of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The same study found evidence that older drivers are less likely to have non-fatal crashes. At the same time, many older people don't see as well as they once did, don't react as quickly to road hazards, or have health problems - dementia, arthritis, heavy medication - that undermine their driving ability.

Click here to read Elderly Drivers Stir Safety Concerns (Wall Street Journal 11/24/10)