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The older driver

In: Human Factors, Vol. 33, No. 5, Oct. 1991, p. 499-505; DOI: 10.1177/001872089103300502

Authors: Patricia F. Waller

Older drivers constitute the most rapidly growing segment of the driving population in number of drivers licensed, miles driven, and proportion of the driving population. Yet the highway transportation system has not been designed for these drivers. This lack of fit is reflected in the accelerating rate of crashes per mile driven experienced by older drivers beginning around age 55. Furthermore, older persons are more vulnerable to injury once a crash occurs and as a group experience a higher fatality rate. The increasing proportion of our population consisting of older persons, in conjunction with a relative decrease in the young adult population, underscores the need for research to develop a greater understanding of the needs and capabilities of this age group and to develop system improvements that will enable as many older persons as possible to continue to meet their own transportation needs safely.