Monday, March 19, 2007

40% of crossroads fatalities involve drivers over 70

In Washington, a study shows that 40% of fatalities at crossroads involve elderly drivers over 70 whose vision problems were tagged a big factor. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, elderly drivers have difficulty judging distance and when it is safe to make a left turn across traffic. It is hard for older drivers to judge whether they have enough time to make a left turn or not, says Anne McCartt, senior vice President for the insurance institute. The issue of aging drivers surfaced as the nation of baby boomers starts to age. In the study it was noted that the percentage of people over 65 with a license increased from 61% in 1980 to 80% in 2003. By 2030, the number of elderly drivers is expected to double to a million or 25% of the driving population. The study is struggling to find ways of determining which older drivers are at the highest risk for accidents and which could sufficiently be used for licensing decisions.

In 2003, an 86-year-old man drove his car into Santa Monica, farmers' market, killing 10 and injuring more than 100 people.

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