May 29, 2010

Senior Drivers Have High Crash Rates

Wall Street Journal reporter Kelly Greene offers a highly informative piece on driving choices for seniors (When It's Too Expensive For Dad to Keep Driving – May 29, 2010). "People who are 75 and older have higher crash rates per mile than all groups except 16- to 25-year-olds, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety," Greene writes.

While most of us hope to keep driving until we're a ripe old age, acknowledging when we're 'ripe' can be a challenge. Moreover, according to the U.S. Administration on Aging: "By 2030, there will be about 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000. People 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000 but are expected to grow to be 19% of the population by 2030."

The IIHS crash stats combined with the AoA population growth projections beg the question: As the percentage of seniors in society increases, and if seniors continue to have high crash rates, does the risk of vehicle intrusion crashes into storefronts also increase?

I'd like to identify some storefront crash data sources that would show the demographics of drivers involved in such accidents. Seniors might represent the biggest—or smallest!—number of these drivers. If you know of any specific data sources, please drop me a comment.

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