Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Older driver safety

Graph of 65+: 13% current Wisconsin population, 7% drivers in crashes, 17% crash fatalities, 21% population in 2030. Source WisDOT and Wisconsin Department of Administration

Most older drivers obey the speed limit and wear their seat belts. But they are expected to become a bigger part of the traffic crash picture in the next couple of decades.

In the U.S., highway deaths for motorists under 65 have dropped in recent years, but for those over 65, traffic fatalities are expected to increase sharply nationwide.

Fortunately, in Wisconsin, we have not yet seen an increase in fatalities among drivers over the age of 65 in recent years.

But the fact remains, the nation is aging quickly.

  • By 2030 one out of every five Americans will be over 65 years of age, and most of them will probably be licensed to drive.
  • The number of drivers older than 65 will more than double to 60 million during the next three decades as baby boomers move into retirement.

As a group, older drivers are some of the country's safest drivers. Fewer speed or drive after drinking alcohol than at any other age.

  • But compared to young and middle-age adults, people over 70 are more likely to be involved in a crash while driving and more likely to die in that crash.

Questions about the content of this page:
Jacqueline Kamin, jacqueline.kamin@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: November 3, 2014

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