More seniors killed in Florida car accidents than elsewhere

A national study has shown that more senior motorists died in Florida in car accidents in 2010 than anywhere else in the U.S. Such accidents claimed the lives of 271 Florida senior drivers that year. In addition, over 500 traffic deaths involved drivers older than age 65. According to NBC Miami, the study was conducted by TRIP, a nationwide research group focused on transportation issues involving safety concerns.

Part of the reason for the high rate of senior driver fatalities is the large number of motorists over the age of 65 driving in Florida, including many retirees who have relocated to the state. Currently, seniors constitute one-fifth of all Florida drivers. By the year 2030, according to one estimate, that will grow to one-fourth of all Florida drivers. Baby boomers are living and driving longer, some say, which may ultimately lead to more traffic fatalities.

Florida experienced 9.87 senior deaths for every 100,000 people, a rate surpassed only by Texas, with 10.7 senior deaths per 100,000 people. California had the largest total number of senior drivers, but the death rate there was 6.9 deaths per 100,000 people.

A highway safety advocacy group, Floridians for Better Transportation, is urging state officials to make modifications to transportation programs to better serve the needs of the increasing number of seniors residing and driving in the state. It noted that many of the senior motorists relocating to the state following retirement may simply not be accustomed to driving on Florida roads.

Source: NBC Miami, “Florida has highest number of seniors killed in car accidents: study,” Karen Franklin, Feb. 24, 2012