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Ann Adv Automot Med. 2008 Oct;52:255-64.

Exploring the declines in older driver fatal crash involvement.

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  • 1Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Arlington, Virginia, USA.


The number of drivers 70 and older is growing at a fast pace, and older drivers are keeping their licenses longer and driving more. Despite these trends, older driver crash deaths and fatal crash involvements declined steadily during the decade 1997-2006 following an upward trend for many years. The present study explored various facets of the decline in older driver fatal crash involvement during 1997-2006. Declines in the rates of older driver fatal crashes were found per licensed driver and per population during 1997-2006; crash involvement per mile traveled also declined during 1995-2001. Relative to drivers aged 35-54, driver fatal crash involvement rates declined at significantly faster rates for drivers 70 and older, and an even more substantial decline was experienced by drivers 80 and older. Especially notable were greater declines in fatal crash involvement rates for intersection crashes and two-vehicle crashes among older drivers relative to drivers aged 35-54; such crash types have accounted for disproportionate numbers of crashes among older drivers in the past.

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