The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has grown concerned about the increasing numbers of drivers above the age of 65 who are going to be on the roads in the coming years. There were 35 million such drivers last year, which is up from the 21 million that were on the road in 2003.
This growth has arrived in conjunction with an increase in the number of fatal and injurious accidents involving these drivers. Injuries in 2012 jumped by 16% and fatalities rose by 3%, to 214,100 and 5,560, respectively. In order to meet the demands the heightened levels of drivers in this demographic create, the NHTSA has come out with a plan to address the needs of such drivers.
First, the agency intends to continue their promotion of technologies designed to help a driver avoid a crash altogether. The hope is that systems like lane departure warnings, active collision avoidance and more can help prevent a crash. The NHTSA has also unveiled a Silver rating to be given to those automobiles that have been rated as being safe for seniors.
The NHTSA will carry out research designed to compile data about various trends related to older drivers, as such information may be used to enact future safety efforts. They will also put together various educational initiatives designed to help persons become the safest drivers they can be.