Older Drivers Make Up More Risk (2022 Repots)

Drivers in their late years are one of the reasons for the risk jump on the roads.

A number of traffic incidents involving older drivers have raised risks regarding road safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. Fatalities involving older drivers and other age groups have been noted by the Highway Loss Data Institute.

Today, we’re going to tackle the frequency of older drivers getting into accidents, how their age affects their driving ability compared to younger drivers – and share other valuable information regarding this critical age group. For seniors it’s important to have the proper amount of bodily injury liability limits, med pay or PIP coverage, and to understand your car insurance coverage options.

Senior drivers have been associated with multiple vehicle crashes, thus violating traffic safety.

Why Are Older Drivers Prone To Motor Vehicle Crashes?

As people age, it’s natural that their energy, concentration, and vision decline – making it more challenging to stay focused and be aware and alert. Furthermore, chronic illnesses and conditions such as glaucoma, arthritis, and dementia make it even harder for middle-aged drivers and older drivers to maintain control of the vehicle.

These factors are also indicators of increasing fatal crash rates among older drivers compared to young drivers.

Most Common Reasons For Fatal Crashes

According to the Federal Highway Administration, an elderly licensed driver is most likely to jeopardize vehicle safety for one of the following reasons:

  • Driving through a stop sign/red light
  • Making sudden and improper turns in front of other vehicles and bicyclists
  • Driving below the speed limit
  • Disrupting driver safety by braking unexpectedly or too close
  • Switching lanes unexpectedly
  • Driving in the wrong lane or through the parking lot
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way to other younger and older drivers and pedestrians
  • Choosing to operate the vehicle despite poor vision or weather conditions
  • Distractions caused by other health conditions

Older drivers tend to make the above-mentioned mistakes and violate safety features.

Old Drivers Statistics

Older licensed drivers make up a big portion of America’s drivers.

In 2018, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a total of 45 million licensed drivers aged 65+. That marked a 60% increase in over a decade. Furthermore, the AAA reported that 99% of the drivers used some kind of prescription drugs for their diseases – and two-thirds of them are on more than one medication.

In 2019, approximately 8,000 older drivers aged 65+ were involved in fatal car crashes in the United States. More than 250,000 had fatal injuries and were admitted to emergency rooms.

Male drivers above 70 years have the highest risk of hurting others and themselves compared to other driver groups – and that makes them more prone to crash involvement than middle-aged drivers.

How Can Elderly Drivers Lower Accident Risk And Improve Road Safety?

The oldest drivers can contribute to lowering risk factors and improving their driver habits by following specific rules. Recent findings suggest the following options:

Wearing seat belts

Whether you’re behind the wheel – or in the passenger seat – wearing a safety belt can contribute to injury prevention. With older cars, this may represent a major problem. Cars lacking electronic stability control and safety features were involved in 37% of fatalities.

Driving in safe conditions

If you check the data accumulated by the Institute for Highway Safety, the percentage among older drivers and different groups, in general, are lower when the conditions on the road are the safest – meaning no fog, rain, or snow. Driving in unfavorable weather conditions can – and will – affect driving ability.

Not diving under the influence

Regardless of the driver’s age, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs contributes to the higher risk of ignoring traffic signals and getting involved in such crashes.

Having someone in the passenger seat

Having a licensed driver in the passenger seat, especially if you’re an older driver, could indeed contribute to obtaining control of the vehicle in case something goes wrong.

Practice Defensive Driving

These techniques refer to a driver that is consciously reducing the potential dangers associated with unsafe driving. Different age groups can practice this by:

  • Being aware of their surroundings
  • Driving fewer miles when the conditions aren’t satisfactory
  • Begin alert and limiting distractions

Younger Drivers Vs. Older Drivers: Who Is More At Risk?

Police-reported crashes placed another age range – teens – in the vulnerable driver age group for causing incidents on the road. It seems that, in the debate between the oldest and the youngest drivers, the statistics often overlap.

Here’s how young drivers performed over the previous decades in their driving habits:

Teen Driver Statistics

Teen drivers (ages 15 to 20) without a driving test or a licensed driver in the passenger seat are the cause behind 91% of accidents on the road. Although punishable by law, many drivers will still choose to drive vehicles.

According to recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports, most car crashes happen over the weekend – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety reported an increased risk among teen drivers. Around 2,400 teens (ages 13 to 19) were killed and almost 258,000 were treated for serious injuries and admitted to emergency rooms.

To make matters worse, 41,3% of US teenagers between 16 and 19 don’t practice wearing seat belts while sitting in the passenger seat.

Accidents Can Happen At Any Age

Whether we’re talking about an older person or any other age group, it’s essential to emphasize the importance of traffic injury prevention. Drivers can do this by obeying traffic laws, wearing a seat belt, and educating themselves on defensive driving. As for older people, it’s essential to prevent them from driving during the rush hour, in the dark, or in bad weather conditions.

Choosing The Best Car Insurance

Regardless of the age, insurance claims can help drivers reimburse the loss covered under their insurance policy. That’s why it is vital that drivers educate themselves on insurance data – and pick the proper auto insurance coverage. You can also try our car insurance rate calculator here.

It’s even more pressing when you consider that property damage liability and collision claims per insured vehicle year go up once the drivers pass the age of 70.

Property damage liability claims are the most common among drivers, and they’re required by law in most states. This policy helps you cover the costs for damage caused to another vehicle – if you’re at fault, that is.

You can compare cheap auto insurance quotes by using our free quote tool.

Summing Up

Older drivers account for a large percentage of fatalities on the road.

Drivers of ages 65+ are held accountable for a 60% increase in car accidents since the year 200o. Almost 8,000 elderly drivers were involved in fatal crashes in 2019. The most common reasons are turning and changing lanes unexpectedly, being distracted, etc. Although their vehicle mile is lower, the reasons we’ve mentioned reflect the dangers this age group causes.

That said, teen drivers account for a fair percentage of fatalities on the road, according to the reporting system. They also fall into the vulnerable category, with 91% of car incidents being caused by teens driving without a license.

At Insurance Geek, our goal is to keep our drivers safe – and help them compensate for the damage caused. Sign up and connect with some of the best car insurance carriers in the country!