The U.S. is home to over 34 million mature drivers (over the age of 65). About 2.7 million of those live and drive in Florida, making up about 20% of the state’s drivers. Miami, and Florida in general, gets a bad rap for leading the nation in the number of accidents involving senior citizens. This has sparked some debate about whether and how to restrict driving privileges for mature drivers. Florida currently requires drivers over the age of 80 to pass regular vision tests, and issues restricted driver’s licenses to people who suffer from certain disabilities.

How Likely are Mature Drivers To Cause Accidents?

As it turns out, senior drivers are actually significantly safer than other drivers. According to a recent report published by the Insurance Information Institute, drivers between 65 and 74 are actually less likely to be involved in a crash than any other age group, and even people over 75 perform significantly better than average.

Additionally, mature drivers made up only 7% of drivers who were stopped with a blood alcohol level over 0.08% in 2013, even though they only made up about 17% of the total driving population.

Both crash rates and driver fatalities have steadily declined for mature drivers since 1995. This is attributed mainly to improvements in senior health and the introduction of tighter regulations on mature drivers.

So, Why Should We Be Concerned?

While mature drivers are less likely to be in an accident than other age groups, they are more likely to be killed in an accident than any age group except teenage drivers. This isn’t because they drive less safely than other drivers, but rather because their bodies are more frail and likely to suffer fatal injuries during a car accident.

Senior drivers also more likely to suffer from complications from common car accident injuries that younger drivers recover from relatively easily, which can lead to a permanent decline in their general health and well-being. A young person suffering from severe symptoms of whiplash will be able to recuperate, even after spending months in recovery. A senior citizen, on the other hand, could easily suffer permanent health effect as a result of being immobilized for such a long time.

The Takeaway

Mature drivers aren’t a traffic safety issue in that they present a threat to the safety of other drivers, however they themselves are at greater risk on the road than other drivers. Because of this, future policies should be aimed at improving safety conditions for our mature drivers, and less on restricting their access to the road.

Please call us immediately at 1-800-INJURED if you’ve been involved in a Miami car accident, so that we can help to put you in touch with experienced medical professionals and local lawyers who will help you get the care and compensation that you’re entitled to.

Category: Car Accidents