Va. among states with highest number of fatalities involving older drivers

(Photo: FILE)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- A national transportation research group called TRIP reports that Virginia is among states with greatest number of fatal crashes involving older drivers.

According to the report, there are 1,087,440 licensed drivers over the age of 65 in the state and there have been 151 fatal crashes involving at least one driver over the age of 65.

In the report they said that with older Americans leading more mobile and active lifestyles then previous generations, it is important that the nation adopt traffic safety improvements that will make roads and highways safer.

“We must do our part to make sure that mature drivers stay safe on the road. As this population continues to grow, we’ll work to enhance education and training opportunities accordingly as the safety of all Virginians is a priority for us," said Janet Brooking, executive director of DRIVE SMART Virginia.

The TRIP report offers a set of recommendations to improve the mobility and safety of older Americans. Many of these recommendations are designed to reduce the consequences of driving errors, making roads safer for all Americans. TRIP’s recommendations include the following:

  • Safer roads: clearer, brighter and simpler signage with large lettering; brighter street markings, particularly at intersections; widening or adding left-turn lanes and extending the length of merge or exit lanes; adding roundabouts where appropriate; adding rumble strips; and system planning and design to accommodate technology needs of connected and self-driving vehicles.
  • Safer road users : promoting education and training programs for older drivers.
  • Safer vehicles: implementing self-driving and connected vehicle technology as well as vehicle safety features that address aging-related deficits, improving vehicles to help withstand and avoid crashes.
  • Improved choices : ensuring public transit routes, vehicles, facilities and stops are easily accessible and accommodating to older or disabled passengers; and expanding non-traditional approaches tailored to the needs of older adults.

Read more about the report here.

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