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Elderly drivers are safer than some may think, researchers say

No matter how safe a driver may be, there is always a chance that they will be involved in a car accident. They may come upon a drunk driver, someone who is concentrating on their cell phone instead of the road, or even a sleepy truck driver. These situations are hard to predict and even harder to avoid.

It can be understandable, then, why some drivers choose to avoid hitting the road in the first place. For example, older drivers who do not feel as confident about their driving skills as they previously did may avoid driving long distances, in rush hour, during bad weather or in the evening hours. Although this may be true for some Charleston seniors, a new study shows that many others are doing just the opposite.

The study shows that from 1995 to 2008, drivers aged 75 and older increased their "average annual mileage by more than 50 percent." Interestingly enough, not only are they driving more, but they are crashing less often. Older drivers' fatal crash rates "per licensed driver" dropped 42 percent from 1997 to 2012.

Although there will always be negligent drivers on our roads, it is good to hear that some older drivers are continuing to feel confident about their driving abilities. Considering that car accidents can lead to severe injuries, especially for the elderly, it is comforting to know that when an accident does happen, drivers can work with a lawyer to seek compensation in order to cover any damages. 

Source: Insurance Journal, "Grandpa and Grandma Much Safer Behind the Wheel Than Predicted," Joan Lowy, Feb. 25, 2014

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