According to a December 2013 report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), elderly drivers, being more frail, are more likely to die or sustain serious injuries in car crashes when compared to younger people.
In a 31 mph frontal crash, a 50-year-old woman has a 10 percent chance of suffering a severe injury. In the same crash, an 80-year-old woman has a 40 percent chance of being seriously injured. In comparison to younger people, drivers aged 75 and over have a much greater chance of sustaining serious injuries to their chests, heads and legs.
In addition, drivers aged 75 and over and drivers less than 30 are more likely to be at fault in crashes at intersections. Drivers in their 30s through their 60s generally are not at fault.
There are five types of crashes in which elderly people are most likely to be involved:
• Turning left at a stop sign at an intersection.
• Turning left at an intersection with a green light with no dedicated green light arrow.
• Merging right into traffic going 40-45 with a yield sign present.
• Merging onto a highway from a yield sign.
• Changing lanes on highways.
Elderly people now make up 16 percent of licensed drivers; this number will continue to grow as baby boomers begin to turn 65.