Maryland’s driving population is aging. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Association (MVA) notes that 10,000 new Baby Boomers reach 65 years old every day.
But what does this mean for motorists? It could mean increased chances for auto accidents on Maryland’s roads and highways.
Statistics on older drivers from the MVA cite a sharp upturn in the states crash rate after drivers turn 55. Similar to the teenage demographic nationwide, drivers over the age of 70 have a higher likelihood of crashing. While Maryland legislation has attempted to reduce accidents caused by teen drivers, it has not taken the same measures with older motorists.
Further numbers from MVA’s 2012 reports indicate the greatest increase in licensed drivers was in the 90-100 years old range. From 2000 2012 there was a 123% increase in this group. The organization notes that it is possible these individuals are not currently operating a vehicle but maintaining a driver license for other reasons.
MVA also recognizes that drivers over the age of 65 only comprise 7% of all motorists involved in accidents, however, when this group is involved in an accident it is more likely they will be found at fault than a driver between the ages of 35 and 64. It is important to remember that the best way to determine liability in a crash is to consult an auto accident lawyer.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) statistics on older drivers offer a national perspective on the discussion. It reported in 2012 the Federal Highway Administrations count of drivers 70 years and older topped 23 million.
In February 2013, after news of an 83-year-old hitting and killing a bicyclist they did not see in the bike lane broke, the Baltimore Sun noted that the number of Maryland drivers over the age of 70 is expected to double in a mere seven years; in 15 years, that number is projected to triple.
Elderly drivers may not be more cause for concern than the teenage population, but many are hoping the state of Maryland will enforce shorter renewal intervals for driver licenses the way other states have. In Iowa, drivers over 70 are required to renew every two years after they turn 70; in Hawaii this kicks in at age 72; in Illinois, drivers 81 and older are subject to this law.
Have you or someone you love been involved in an accident where an older driver was at fault?
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