Nearly one in five drivers throughout New Jersey and the rest of the country are older than 65. That figure has risen by almost a third in just the last decade, and it is expected to climb even further in the years ahead as the baby boom generation enters its golden years. Accident statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that fatal crashes involve an older driver about 14% of the time. The rise in the number of seniors killed on the nation’s roads each year is outpacing other demographic groups.
In 2017, which is the most recent year for which NHTSA car accident data is available, almost 7,000 senior citizens lost their lives in motor vehicle collisions. The statistics show that 18% of the traffic fatalities in 2017 were individuals over the age of 65, but they also reveal that seniors account for 19% of America’s licensed drivers. While this may suggest that older and more experienced motorists are safer drivers, analysts point out that retirees generally travel far fewer miles each year. They are thus involved in more fatal crashes for each mile covered.
One of the reasons older drivers may be involved accidents more often is that they frequently live alone. Seniors who live with relatives or in assisted living facilities might have others who can run their errands for them, but retirees who live by themselves must see to their own needs.
An individual who has been injured in an accident involving an older driver may want to file a personal injury claim. A personal injury attorney could help the victim with their case by negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company for a fair settlement.