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Predicted rise in motor vehicle accidents as baby boomers age

The rising age of baby boomers will double the amount of drivers age 65 or older in fifteen years by the year 2030. Because older drivers have historically been involved in a significant amount of motor vehicle accidents, this could spell trouble for drivers of all ages in the upcoming future. However, this stereotype does not hold true because older drivers are bad drivers. We'll explain further later in the blog. But experts do believe the dramatic increase in older drivers will create unique challenges in driving safety and mobility for a population that may live out their golden years in suburban homes.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, one in five drivers will be 65 or older in fifteen years and there will be 57 million older drivers by 2030. While some people believe that older drivers are more prone to get into motor vehicle accidents than younger drivers, the stereotype does not hold true, but not why you may think. Older drivers who do not have age-related medical conditions are just as safe of drivers as younger drivers. However, older drivers can have medical conditions that influence their driving. In comparison to younger drivers, older drivers have less flexibility which impedes their ability to look behind and side to side. Older drivers also have slower reaction times and have a harder time judging distances and speeds.

The physicality of a driver is already stark when comparing a 40-year-old driver to a 20-year-old driver. A 40-year-old requires twenty times more light to drive at night than a driver twenty years younger. The rate of fatal motor vehicle accidents begins to increase at the age of 75 in comparison to other adult drivers, and drivers aged 85 have the highest car accident fatality rate. Drivers over the age of 75 are more likely to die in motor vehicle accidents because they are less likely to recover from the injuries they suffer.

New technologies like crash warning systems may help older drivers stay behind the wheel longer, but experts say there comes a point when people outlive their ability to drive. On average, men outlive their ability to drive by six years, and women outlive their ability to drive by ten years. Experts say when a person's ability to travel is limited, their access to activities and outside interaction becomes less. Some believe that the baby boomer generation will be more housebound than previous generations because of the generation's size and because many will retire in suburban locations.

If you have questions about motor vehicle accidents, or if you have been injured because of the negligence of another driver, please call the motor vehicle accidents lawyers at Dugan & Associates today for a free consultation at 412-922-0800.

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