It has been a long debated question on whether elderly drivers should be allowed to drive at certain ages. Now that the baby boomers are beginning to reach these ages, this question is getting more attention. With more then 20 million drivers 70 and older on the road across the nation in 2007, more people are raising the question on whether the elderly should continue to drive.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted some changes that accompany aging that could cause problems for elderly drivers.
Safe elderly drivers require the complex coordination of many different skills. The physical and mental changes that accompany aging can diminish the abilities of elderly drivers. These include: a slowdown in response time; a loss of clarity in vision and hearing; a loss of muscle strength and flexibility; drowsiness due to medications; and a reduction in the ability to focus or concentrate.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also found elderly drivers tend to be “over-involved” in particular types of collisions. To be specific, the most common error they found was collisions caused due to failure to yield the right of way.
The IIHS also looked at insurance claims and found that both collision and property damage claims begin increasing after “about age 65 meaning that seniors more often are involved in crashes.”
For further detail into this report of elderly driving, visit the article Westport News.