“While driving ability declines with age for most people, those seniors who continue to drive appear to be safer drivers than the general public might think,” said David Loughran, a RAND senior economist and professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School who is the lead author of the study. “By far, it is the youngest drivers who pose the greatest risk to traffic safety.”
Researchers found that in 2001, people 65 and older accounted for about 15 percent of all licensed drivers but caused only about 7 percent of all accidents in the United States. By contrast, people ages 15 to 24 accounted for just 13 percent of all licensed drivers, but caused 43 percent of all accidents.
Because senior citizens are generally in poorer health and more frail than younger people, drivers 65 and older are at much greater risk of serious injury or death when they do have an accident, according to the study by RAND, a nonprofit research organization. Senior drivers are nearly seven times more likely than younger drivers to be killed in a two-car accident.
“Seniors who drive pose a much larger risk to themselves than to others,” Loughran said. “As the U.S. population ages, injury rates will increase -- not because seniors cause more accidents, but because seniors are more vulnerable to injury when they get into an accident.”
It is projected that by 2025, drivers 65 and older will represent 25 percent of the driving population, compared with 14 percent in 2001. Previous research has shown that as people age, their driving ability becomes impaired.
“Seniors appear to make fairly sound decisions about when to reduce the amount they drive or stop driving altogether,” Loughran said. “Not only do seniors drive much less than younger drivers, but they drive at safer times during the day and avoid poorer road conditions.”
The study estimated accident risks by examining more than 330,000 fatal traffic accidents around the United States between 1975 and 2003 among drivers in three age groups: 15 to 24; 25 to 64; and 65 and older.
In response to an aging driving population, many states have imposed more stringent licensing requirements, such as in-person renewals and mandatory vision testing for senior drivers. While only Illinois and New Hampshire require older drivers to take a road test, several recent high-profile accidents involving older drivers have caused legislators in a number of states to consider tightening licensing requirements for older drivers.
The study argues that it is costly to both states and seniors to impose more stringent age-based licensing requirements and that the benefits of doing so have not been rigorously validated. Instead, the study concludes that more accidents could be prevented and lives saved by improving car and road design to make auto travel safer for older drivers and passengers.
“Policies that lead to improvements in overall traffic safety will have much larger impacts on injury rates than will efforts to identify the relatively small number of older drivers whose licenses should be revoked,” Loughran said.
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10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
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An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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