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Are older drivers at risk?

This answer is based on a publication and research conducted by The Hartford and MIT AgeLab:

As a group, older drivers are typically safe. The actual number of accidents involving older drivers decreases as age increases. Experts attribute this decline to self-imposed limitations, such as driving fewer miles and avoiding night driving, rush-hour traffic and other difficult conditions.

However, older drivers, especially after age 75, have a higher risk of being involved in a collision for every mile they drive. The rate of fatalities increases slightly after age 65 and significantly after age 75. This higher rate is due to the increased inability to withstand the physical trauma that often occurs with age. Although older persons with health issues can be satisfactory drivers, they have a higher risk of injury or death in an accident, regardless of fault.

These statistics can help you see the risk for older drivers; however, the decision to limit driving depends on each individual. Each family must ask, “Is my older relative safe?” Ongoing discussions and objective assessments will help older drivers and their families evaluate the risks in their unique situations. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.