New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that older commercial drivers may be more susceptible to fatal injuries in a crash than younger drivers would be.
The findings were featured in last week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s traffic safety advocacy director is quick to point out that this information does not indicate that older drivers are inherently more dangerous. Instead, he suggests that their age makes them more likely to sustain serious or fatal injuries.
A researcher with the CDC points out that their findings relate to various types of occupations, as opposed to just things like long haul trucking. By looking at the data, the CDC was able to deduce that drivers between the ages of 18 and 54 are likely to sustain one fatality for every 100,000 drivers. But the risk for a fatality increases once the person hits 55, and when drivers over 65 are analyzed, their rate of fatality is three per 100,000.
That same researcher notes that employers can do their part to improve these numbers by mandating rest breaks over certain intervals and sticking to schedules that don’t involve having to drive at night. Certain vehicles can also boost safety. The AAA representative further explained how safety can be improved with educational efforts that outline the risks posed by medication that causes drowsiness.