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Study ranks senior car accident rates by state

It's commonly assumed that older drivers in Virginia and other states are less capable behind the wheel. A study based on National Highway Transportation Safety Administration data attempted to determine if this really is the case by ranking senior-related car accident fatalities by state and exploring related statistics. It's a timely study since one out of every five drivers today is 65 or older.

According to the results, senior car accidents accounted for nearly 15% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2017. Florida was the state with the most fatal auto accidents involving older drivers, followed by Texas, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Conversely, senior drivers were involved in fewer fatal accidents in New Hampshire, South Dakota, Delaware, Hawaii, North Dakota and Alaska.

The United States is home to more than 40 million licensed drivers 65 and older, a 60% jump since the late 1990s. Older motorists are also perishing more often in car accidents. Over the past decade, overall traffic fatalities have been on the decline except for drivers 65 and older. But this trend may be due to the fact that more individuals within this age group now have driver's licenses. On the positive side, traffic fatality rates between 2016 and 2017 dropped for all American motorists, including seniors. Many states also have license renewal requirements meant to ensure that drivers of all ages are still capable of navigating roadways.

Should a car collision involve an older driver who was possibly negligent, a motor vehicle accident attorney may look at their driving record to determine if there is a pattern of driving-related issues. If this isn't the case, a lawyer might explore health problems that could have affected driving capabilities. Device data may be reviewed as well since drivers in all age groups can be distracted while behind the wheel.

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