According to a recent study, researchers concluded that pedestrians over 70 were five times more likely to die from being hit by a car than drivers 21-29.
Interestingly, driving gets more dangerous with age, but older adults are actually more vulnerable while walking on the sidewalk than behind the wheel of a car.
Additionally, elderly drivers were no more likely to die on the road than individuals in their twenties.
Jonathan Rolison, the leader of the study conducted at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, stated, “The focus is usually on older drivers as a danger to themselves and other drivers.”
However, Mr. Rolison also noted, “[T]he real issue isn’t really safeguarding older drivers, it’s making the road environment safer for pedestrians.”
There has been a dramatic shift in recent years toward more demanding license renewal processes, especially for older adults.
Most assume that as eyesight and cognitive abilities decrease with age, older adults often become more dangerous on the road than younger drivers.
However, this recent study as well as past research reveals that this is not necessarily true.
In the United States, a comprehensive study revealed that 40-year-old male motorists were actually more dangerous on the road than 70-year-old male motorists.
The UK study utilized police records regarding fatal road accidents that occurred during 1989 through 2009.
The researchers found that the risk of dying behind the wheel was similar for both younger adults and older adults.
More specifically, 13 in 100 million driving trips ended in fatalities among those under 29 and 14 in 100 million trips ended in fatalities for those over 70. These results took into account both passengers and drivers.
The main takeaway of the groundbreaking study, according to Dr. David Carr of Washington University is that “older drivers represent a small proportion of driver fatalities.”