Older Adult Drivers and Fatalities, Injuries

In 2012, there were almost 36 million drivers aged 65 and older in the United States. More than 5,500 older adults were killed and more than 214,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes.

Age related declines in vision and cognitive functioning and physical changes may affect some older adults’ driving abilities.

Data further provides that older adult drivers ages are less likely to drink and drive than drivers 21 to 64.

Safety recommendations for older adults who drive include:

•· Yearly eye exams, wearing glasses and corrective lenses as required.

•· Having prescriptions reviewed to reduce side effects and interactions.

•· Driving in daylight.

In Arizona, the highest percentage of driver fatalities in traffic crashes was in the 35-54 age group, then the 21-34 age group, then the 55-69 age group.

For older people, 68% of pedestrian fatalities in 2012 occurred at non-intersection locations. The fatality rate for the 80-84 age group was higher than any other older age group.

Among all fatally injured adult pedestrians, older pedestrians had the lowest proportion of pedestrians with blood alcohol levels of .08 or higher.