The future of demographics on the roadway IS older drivers –
- The Baby Boomer Generation is aging, with 10,000 Americans each day reaching 65 years of age.
- Half of the expected growth in vehicle miles travelled between now and the year 2030, will be drivers 65 years old and over. (Toward Zero Deaths: A National Strategy on Highway Safety, Pisarski, Aug2010)
- The 2010 census numbers show Maryland’s population of older persons increasing at 25% over the last decade, compared to 21% nationally.
- Maryland has close to 708,000 residents age 65 and over (12% of the population), and over 98,000 age 85 and over (2% of the population). Most all of them reside in Baltimore, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties and Baltimore City.
- As of early 2012, Maryland has 604,487 licensed drivers ages 65 and over.
- Significant changes in the numbers of licensed drivers by age group occurred between 2000-2012.
- The age group that showed the greatest change was 90-100, with a 123% increase from 6,475 licensed drivers in 2000. It is possible that these drivers are not operating a motor vehicle on the road, but maintaining their licensure status for other reasons.
But, older drivers are not the big story on crashes –
- Drivers aged 65+ make up less than one-tenth (7%) of all drivers involved in crashes.
- Crash involvement decreases as age increases after age 34.
This is how it breaks down for the crashes that are reported to be the fault of the older drivers –
- While the total number of crashes peaks within the 25-34 year age group, the proportion of drivers reported to be a fault peaks within the youngest and oldest age groups. Driver fault is determined by police officers at the time of the crash and recorded as yes/no on the crash report.
- The top 3 crash types for drivers are rear-end, sideswipe/angle and left turn crashes; older drivers are more involved than younger drivers in both sideswipe crashes (39%) and left turn crashes (23%).