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Tuesday, 07 December 2021 09:59

‘Retirement Vehicles’ Raise Risk of Crash Fatalities for Older Drivers

Index

...older than middle-aged drivers ranked safety ratings as extremely important in their purchase decision.

 

In all age groups, most drivers agreed a 10-year-old, well-maintained car with low mileage is just as safe as a new one---though drivers 70 and older were substantially more likely to report owning a vehicle of that vintage. Notably, the older drivers who owned the newest vehicles were most likely to disagree with that statement, as well as to report more than $75,000 in annual household income.

 

“The older drivers who participated in the survey didn’t appear to understand the value of today’s vehicle safety features,” Cicchino said. “At the same time, they perceived less need to replace their older vehicles because they don’t drive many miles per year and think of low mileage as synonymous with overall vehicle safety.”

 

That’s especially problematic because statistics show crash risk per mile is higher for drivers who drive less, particularly those who travel fewer than 3,000 miles a year, than for those who log more travel. Driving on local roads is in fact riskier than highway driving, so the tendency of older drivers to restrict their highway travel and stay within their local areas means they accumulate most of their mileage in riskier conditions.

 

Source: IIHS

 

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