TRIP report shows increase in injuries, fatalities for older drivers
The last report from TRIP, a national transportation research group, shows that fatal crashes involving older drivers are increasing, and that transportation infrastructure improvements could improve outcomes for those drivers in these cases.
The report, titled “Preserving the Mobility and Safety of Older Americans”, states that between 2012 and 2016 fatalities from crashes involving drivers ages 65 and older has increased by 22%, and the number of drivers ages 65 and older has increased 21%.
TRIP’s report includes a breakdown by state, with Florida seeing the highest increase in the number of fatalities for drivers over 65, totaling 682. Wisconsin saw the highest percentage increase of fatalities involving one driver aged 65 years or older with 26%, and West Virginia saw the highest total percentage increase of licensed drivers 65 or older at 25%. California has the highest number of drivers over 65 with 3,999,876 million, according to the TRIP report.
With projections that Americans 65 and older will reach 24% of the United State’s population by 2060, there is a growing need to address transportation infrastructure and make improvements that will benefit all drivers.
“Freedom of mobility is a cherished, lifelong right. We owe it to the generation that built our nation’s highway system to further enhance the safety and convenience of our transportation system to meet the mobility needs of older Americans,” said Greg Cohen, president and CEO of the American Highway Users Alliance, in a release from TRIP.
ATSSA and AARP have been working to improve roadway safety for older drivers for several years, including having older driver safety eligible activities included as part of the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). In addition, HSIP states that if an increase in fatalities and serious injuries per capita occur with drivers over 65, based on the most recent 2-year dataset, then a state is required to develop strategies to address safety concerns for older drivers and pedestrians.
“There are many things we can do to improve roadway infrastructure in a way that benefits not only older drivers, but all road users on our nation’s roadways. Wider and more retroreflective pavement markings, improved roadway signage, and dedicated left-turn lanes, to name a few, can all make a significant difference. TRIP’s report shows the need to focus on improving our roadway infrastructure now, so that we can protect and save the lives of our parents and grandparents for decades to come,” said ATSSA’s Vice President of Government Relations Nate Smith.
To read the full TRIP report, click here.