Old Drivers Are Not Likely to Cause Fatal Car Accidents

If you're worried about your granny or grandpa being behind the wheel, try to relax a little bit.

According to a study made by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, older people are less involved in fatal car crashes. It seems that between 1997 and 2006,  the percentage of crash deaths among drivers aged 70 and older decreased by 21.

At first sight, you might think this happens because grandparents use public transportation or go by foot to the nearest supermarket, but you're wrong!

Actually, if it makes you feel good, the quoted Institute suspected exactly the contrary: since the older people's driving abilities are limited, the researchers expected they caused accidents more often than younger drivers.

However, same Institute proves the number of old people behind the wheel rose by 10 percent in the past years. But in comparison with drivers aged 20-69, fewer people over 70 are licensed to drive.

How come is this possible? Although reasons for the drop in fatal accidents among older drivers are pretty unclear, a possible explanation comes from the researchers.

"The data don't allow us to point to any one reason why older drivers' fatal crash experience has improved. Some drivers may have benefited from newer and safer vehicles, and older people generally are more fit than in years past, with better access to health care," says Anne McCartt, Institute senior vice president for research, and an author of the new studies.

Yet, unlike younger drivers, people who reach 80 tend to plan their journeys during daytime and avoid driving at night, don't travel on interstate highways, drive fewer times and shorter distances and don't use their car when there's ice on the road or when it's snowing.

So, no more worries for your granny when pressing the gas pedal for she seems to know what she's doing more than you do!
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