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Elderly drivers are safer motorists than experts had expected

For several years, safety advocates and federal regulators have been particularly preoccupied with the safety of two specific groups of motorists. Both teen drivers and elderly drivers have received a great deal of attention in recent years because these groups are generally at greater risk of being involved in accidents than adults aged 20-70 are generally.

There are a number of reasons why novice and elderly drivers are considered to be at greater risk of auto accidents. Primarily, teens are at risk due to inexperience and elderly drivers are at risk due to the effects of aging. However, a recent study indicates that elderly drivers do not seem to be at as high of a risk for accidents as many experts expected that they would be at this point.

Approximately ten years ago, safety experts and federal regulators expressed growing concern that the increasing population of elderly drivers would soon dramatically impact accident rates for the worse. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released data which should alleviate these long-standing fears.

According to the IIHS data, elderly drivers are both less likely to be seriously or fatally injured if they are involved in accidents and are less likely to be involved in collisions than elderly drivers of previous generations were. Rather than impacting accident rates for the worse, current elderly drivers are safer than those elderly drivers who came before them.

This welcome news should be celebrated not only by elderly drivers themselves but also by all motorists who might come into contact with elderly drivers during their travels.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Grandpa and Grandma Much Safer Behind the Wheel Than Predicted,” Joan Lowy, Feb. 25, 2014

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