Experience Brings Results

What do fatality rates tell us about older drivers?

People often point to fatality rates among younger drivers as a way to show that teen drivers are inherently unsafe on the road. They have the highest fatality rate of any age group, after all.

However, fatality rates don't always tell the whole story. For instance, did you know that older drivers actually have the second-highest fatality rate? That information comes from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

For instance, the statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that 240,000 people who were 65 years old and older were injured in 2015, while 6,165 were killed. This means that older drivers accounted for a full 18 percent of all traffic fatalities.

Surely, it can't all be about experience. A lack of experience is often blamed when young drivers are killed. They take risks that adult drivers know to avoid and they make simple mistakes.

But older drivers have years of experience. They've been driving decades longer than teens and even other adults. What is the problem?

One thing that experts note is physical frailty. Injuries that a 20-year-old would survive with a stay in the hospital can prove deadly for someone who is 70 years old. The elderly may also have other health ailments to consider, but much of it comes down to the natural effects of aging that mean they can't bounce back from serious injuries.

Have you lost a loved one in a car accident caused by another driver? In the wake of such a tragic event, with mounting medical bills and funeral costs, remember to fully look into all of your legal rights.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, "Background on: Older drivers," accessed Jan. 02, 2018

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