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Report: NC ranks fifth in U.S. in traffic fatalities involving older drivers

Photo: KTRK

North Carolina is among states with greatest number of fatalities involving an older driver and of licensed drivers 65 or older.

Fatal crashes involving older drivers are increasing partly due to rapidly growing number of older Americans, and improvements to nation’s transportation system could improve traffic safety for older drivers as well as all motorists

TRIP’s report identifies states with highest number and share of older drivers, states with highest fatality and crash rates involving older drivers, strategies to help aging motorists remain mobile, and recommended transportation improvements.

While the number of older Americans continues to grow at a significant rate, the number of older drivers involved or killed in fatal traffic crashes is growing even faster, finds a new report from TRIP.

The report, “Preserving the Mobility and Safety of Older Americans,” was released Tuesday by TRIP, a national non-profit transportation research group based in Washington, D.C. According to the report, nearly 1.4 million licensed drivers in North Carolina are 65 or older, making N.C. ninth in the U.S. for the number of drivers over 65.

In 2016, 285 people were killed in North Carolina crashes that involved at least one driver 65 or older, making it fifth in the U.S. for this kind of crash.

The TRIP report details states in the top 20 in the number of traffic fatalities involving drivers 65 or older, the increase in fatalities involving drivers 65 or over from 2012 to 2016, the number and proportion of licensed drivers 65 and older, increases in licensed drivers 65 and older from 2012 to 2016, the increase in fatalities involving at least one driver 65 and older from 2012 to 2016, and the number of drivers 65 and older killed in crashes.

According to the TRIP report, an estimated 46 million Americans are 65 or older, accounting for 15 percent of the total population. By 2060, the number of Americans 65 and older will more than double and their proportion of the total population will reach 24 percent.

In the last decade, the number of licensed drivers 65 and older increased 38 percent and the proportion of licensed drivers 65 and older rose from 15 percent to 19 percent.


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