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Fewer older drivers killed in accidents

A number of our blog posts have focused on the development of crash avoidance technologies that are poised to change the way people drive (and avoid accidents). We also suggested that these changes were made in part to attract a new class of buyers (older drivers) that would not usually purchase a new car at such an advanced age.

However, the changes have a positive impact on older drivers. Specifically, fewer drivers have been involved in accidents. According to a recent report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicated that the rate of older drivers being involved in fatal crashes dropped 39 percent between 1997 and 2012. 

Even though the latest crash avoidance technologies had not been incorporated yet, the incorporation of airbags and crush zones have helped in reducing the fatality rates.

Also, the report indicated that older drivers are logging more miles behind the wheel than previous generations; something that bodes well for baby boomers and generation Xers as they grow older. By 2050, the number drivers over 70 are projected to reach 64 million, which will be nearly 20 percent of the driving public.

By this time, many cars will have self-driving capabilities, which may likely drive accident rates down further for older drivers. In the meantime, it is important for drivers of all ages to use reasonable care when behind the wheel. As a matter of law, if a driver fails to use such care, and an accident occurs as a result, the offending driver could be held liable. 

Source: Wistv.com "Accident rates improving for older drivers," Feb.20, 2014

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