NHTSA Unveils Plan to Improve Safety for Older Motorists


Although they are statistically among the safest on the road, the number of older drivers is increasing dramatically — and with it, that group's numbers of injuries and deaths. Because of this, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Thursday announced a new five-year strategic plan to improve safety for elderly drivers and passengers.

Since 2003, the population of older adults, defined as age 65 and older, has increased by 20 percent and the number of licensed older drivers increased by 21 percent to 35 million in 2012, according to NHTSA. Last year, NHTSA reported that 5,560 people older than 65 died and 214,000 were injured in car crashes, a 3 percent spike in fatalities and a 16 percent spike in injuries compared with 2011. That's in addition to an increased risk of death or serious injury in even low-severity crashes, NHTSA stated.

In response to these figures, NHTSA's strategic plan will focus on three key areas:

  • Vehicle safety, particularly with regard to advanced technologies such as vehicle-to-vehicle communications, collision avoidance and crashworthiness; that's in addition to upgrades to NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program, including the new "Silver" rating system for protection of older occupants.
  • Data collection, for which NHTSA intends to refine its systems as it continues to examine crash rates and injuries, as well as clinical and naturalistic studies of physical, cognitive and perceptual changes associated with drivers' behavior as they age.
  • Driver behavior, for which NHTSA will focus efforts on public education and identifying issues pertaining to at-risk drivers' functional changes such as vision, strength, flexibility and cognition. This effort includes the all-new Older Driver Highway Safety Program Guidelines, also unveiled today in conjunction with Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, which kicked off Monday and runs through today.

"NHTSA's Older Driver Highway Safety Program Guidelines are based on best practices around the country and include countermeasures that can be implemented to ensure the safety of older drivers, including at-risk drivers," the agency said in a statement. "The guidelines encourage state highway safety offices to work closely with driver license officials, state departments of transportation, medical providers and aging services providers, among others."

AAA Recommends Car Features for Older Drivers
Possible NHTSA 'Silver' Ratings Aim to Protect Older Drivers
More Safety News on Cars.com

By Matt Schmitz | December 6, 2013 | Comments (3)



"Although they are statistically among the safest on the road, the number of older drivers"

Only if you define "safest" to mean "fewest accidents per time period." The more meaningful measurement would be "fewest accidents per mile" in which case senior drivers are among the most dangerous. The different results are a consequence of the fact that senior drivers drive the fewest miles per time period.

Using a poor definition undermines your argument, and using a poor definition and fail to provide it is disingenuous.


How about stop putting poison into the water supply?
The older population, age 50+, have accumulated a lifetime of toxins that has slowed their cognitive function, and diminished reaction ability.

I think it's a very good idea. It will be good/safer for older drivers and all drivers around them...

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App