Senior citizens rank among the Ohio residents who regularly travel the state’s roads. Many of those older drivers are at a greater risk of fatal car accidents. Their vehicles are a key reason.
What are seniors driving?
According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, older drivers are more likely to get into serious crashes and suffer severe injuries and even death. While many seniors in their 70s and 80s are safe behind the wheel, others are at a significantly higher risk of accidents that can kill them.
The study found that drivers 70 and older were more likely to drive small vehicles that are at least 16 years old. Many of those vehicles lack current safety standards and features found in today’s cars.
Those vehicles lack features like side airbags and electronic stability control. Vehicles without the latter safety feature were found to be much more likely to result in fatalities when accidents occurred. Many older drivers cars’ didn’t have automatic emergency braking. Around 10% of those drivers stated that safety ratings weren’t important. However, car crash injuries are far more likely to occur in those cars compared with newer models.
Why are older drivers not upgrading their vehicles?
Older drivers are not upgrading their vehicles due to lack of knowledge. Many are on fixed incomes, drive less than they used to and believe there’s no need for a newer vehicle. The study saw that on average, senior drivers were likely to drive fewer than 3,000 miles per year and didn’t view it worthwhile to upgrade to a new vehicle. However, while many of these older drivers opted to stick to local roads instead of highways, it was also found that they were more likely to get into serious crashes on those local roads.
You can do your part to keep your older loved ones safe by convincing them of the importance of moving up to a safer car.