According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, about one in every five licensed drivers in the United States will be above 65 years of age by the year 2025. The numbers of such drivers will actually double to 57 million motorists, by the year 2030. The number of drivers in this age group has already increased to close to 20% of the general motorist population.
We now have a situation where we have more elderly motorists on our roads than we have ever had in our country’s history. The biggest reason for this is that people are living longer. Moreover, medical advancements and better healthcare has meant that people not only live into their 80s and 90s, but also continue to drive and live mobile and independent lives. Driving when you are an elderly motorist brings with it special challenges. For instance, if you’re above 70 years of age, you are three times more likely to suffer injuries during an accident than someone who is between 35 and 54 years of age.
Elderly drivers were also the focus of a special forum sponsored by the National Transportation Safety Board last week. NTSB Chairperson Deborah Hersman, who convened the two-day forum, spoke about the need for strategies to minimize the risks of fatalities and injuries in accidents involving elderly drivers.
As Kansas City Car Accident Lawyers, our firm has handled hundreds of cases involving elderly drivers. I believe the State of Missouri should consider a more restrictive approach to driving privileges. Perhaps that involves driving tests being administered at more regular intervals. At that point, state officials could evaluate vision, medication affects, and slower reflexes that come with age.