Advancing age can bring impairments that affect driving ability. Drivers age 70 and older have higher crash rates per mile traveled than middle-aged drivers, though not as high as young drivers.
The number of drivers age 70 and older is growing. As baby boomers age, older people make up a bigger proportion of the population than they used to. In addition, older drivers are keeping their licenses longer.
Despite their growing numbers, older drivers are involved in fewer fatal collisions than in the past. A total of 4,052 people ages 70 and older died in crashes in 2011. That’s 31 percent fewer than in 1997.
Many older drivers limit their driving. Surveys show that many people drive fewer miles and avoid night driving or other challenging situations as they get older. Some states require in-person license renewal for older drivers to help identify those who shouldn’t be driving or should have restricted licenses.