Michigan’s Older Drivers: A Growing Demographic

Statistics show that America is growing older. As the nation grays and its average age climbs, concepts of activities considered appropriate for older Americans are rapidly changing. Today, more older Americans are engaging in activities that were once strictly for the young: launching second careers, going back to college, playing sports, travelling and driving motor vehicles, among others.

According to the Tri-County Times, it's estimated that by the year 2030, one of every five Americans will be older than 65. That means unprecedented numbers of older drivers will be on the streets of Michigan and elsewhere.

Safety Concerns

Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows there were 31 million American drivers ages 65 and older in 2007 (a 19 percent increase from 1997). Keeping in mind that the average age is due to continue its upward surge, there are concerns about an aging driving population.

  • Motor vehicle fatalities increase markedly beginning at ages 70 to 74
  • Age-related diminishment of vision and other physical abilities can affect the driving capabilities of older Americans

Preventing Injuries and Deaths

Older drivers can help keep themselves, passengers and other motorists safe by engaging in proactive, safe driving behaviors, including:

  • Using seatbelts
  • Driving when conditions are safest
  • Never driving while on medication that affects coordination, vision or judgment
  • Avoiding distractions such as cellphone use while behind the wheel
  • Exercising regularly
  • Leaving extra room between the car you are driving and the vehicle ahead of you

Because older drivers tend to be more cautious and experienced, they're often some of the best drivers on the roads.

Waiting Too Long

However, there are in some cases older drivers who have waited too long to give up the keys to their vehicles and have needlessly caused crashes and collisions leading to catastrophic injuries and even fatalities.

If an older driver has hurt you or a member of your family, contact a Michigan personal injury lawyer who can effectively assess the details of your case and help determine who is liable for damages. A personal injury attorney helps you get the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.