You may not believe it, but Grandma and Grandpa are driving more safely than they did a decade ago. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, older drivers are driving more safely in recent years reports the Chicago Tribune.
A study commissioned by the IIHS says that drivers 70 or over are seeing the most dramatic declines in fatal crashes with motorists 80 or older seeing a drop from 38 fatalities per 100,000 drivers back in 1997 to 20 deaths per 100,000 drivers in 2008–a nearly 50% drop.
“Precisely why fewer older drivers are dying, getting injured or are otherwise involved in car crashes remains a mystery, [researcher] McCartt said during a recent discussion of the report’s conclusions.
“It’s very hard to pin down,” she said. This generation of older folks may be in better physical condition than previous generations and benefit from technological advances in auto safety and emergency medical care, McCartt said.
They’re more affluent, may drive on less-risky roads and may be more likely to “self-restrict” their driving as they age, she added.