Many people think of seniors as road hazards, but recent studies have busted that myth. As it turns out, wisdom trumps youth because teen drivers are much more risky than senior drivers. In fact, drivers over 65 are one-third as likely to cause accidents as drivers under age 24. Senior drivers account for approximately 15 percent of American drivers, but only cause 7 percent of all accidents.
There’s even better news! Modern technological and medical advances have been improving the safety of senior drivers. Between 1997 and 2010, the number of licensed senior drivers increased by 26 percent, but the number of seniors involved in fatal accidents has declined by over 30 percent. That means that more senior drivers are on the road, yet they’re causing fewer accidents. How can this be?
Modern medicine keeps us healthier well into our old age. This means that more seniors are able to drive safely for many more years than they once could. Modern technologies, such as push to start ignitions, electric seat controls and back-up cameras, help seniors with more fragile bodies operate newer cars with ease.
So why do people think of seniors as such a risk? Some individuals confuse age with ability. Many able-bodied seniors have no problem driving a car safely to their destination. However, aging can lead to mental and physical conditions, such as arthritis and dementia, that can impair driving skills. Weakened vision, slowed reflexes and some medications can affect a person’s ability to handle a moving vehicle. But these notions should not be applied across the board to all senior drivers.
It’s important to note that, though senior drivers cause fewer accidents than their younger counterparts, they are at a higher risk for bodily injury because their bodies are generally more brittle and frail.
There are currently over 30 million senior drivers in America—a number that is expected to surpass 40 million by 2020—so now is the time to throw away discriminatory thoughts. Multiple studies have proven that seniors, despite popular belief, are actually some of the safest drivers populating American roads.
Senior drivers can improve their safety further by purchasing comprehensive coverage. Call HomeStar Insurance Services at (815) 929-2200 for more information on Kankakee auto insurance.