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Elderly Drivers In Spotlight Amid Recent Accident Surge

In our last post we discussed a fatal auto accident involving a young Oswego man. Teens and 20-somethings are the most dangerous drivers based on the number of crashes but elderly drivers are not far behind. Elderly drivers tend to drive less, and the Associated Press reports that drivers over 85 have a higher rate of fatal crashes per mile than teens.

Elderly drivers have been in the spotlight this summer due to a variety of high profile crashes, including a Los Angeles crash in which a 100-year-old man ran over almost a dozen people outside of a school.

According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the rate of car accidents for older drivers increases in the 70s and then has a sharp increase when drivers hit at 80.

It should be noted that it isn’t the age of a driver that impacts his or her ability to operate a vehicle safely, but rather medical conditions common in elderly drivers can impact their driving skills. Elderly drivers are also more likely to be seriously injured and killed in an accident because their bodies are too frail to recover.

Illinois has some of the strictest laws regarding elderly drivers. In Chicago, drivers have to take road tests for license renewals after age 75 and at age 87, Illinois drivers are required to have annual renewals to make sure their driving skills are still intact.