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NTSB holds forum on aging drivers

By Michael Bolden

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The National Transportation Safety Board is holding a two-day forum on aging drivers to address the growing number of people with licenses who are 65 and older. The NTSB says that within 15 years that group will make up more than 20 percent of the driving population.

The NTSB said the forum is the first time the federal safety agency has analyzed the issue of aging drivers.

A previous study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that miles driven by older drivers are going up and fatal crashes involving seniors are coming down.

But experts told the NTSB Tuesday that too often older drivers are forced to choose between safety and mobility because they have few other transportation options.

Topics planned for the forum include:
-- Safety risks of aging drivers
-- Protections for aging drivers and passengers
-- Improvements for vehicles and roads
-- State programs
-- Measuring driver performance and providing refresher courses.

The public form is being held at the NTSB's conference center at 429 L'Enfant Plaza in Southwest Washington on Tuesday and Wednesday. It runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Post's Ashley Halsey III is attending the forum. Bookmark the Dr. Gridlock blog for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


From the Post's archives:

Study: Older people driving more, having fewer accidents

The crossroads of aging and driving

By Michael Bolden  | November 9, 2010; 10:59 AM ET
Categories:  NTSB, Transportation News  
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I have read with interest DR. Gridlock's story in my local paper on Long Island of the NTSB Study related to older drivers. I am now an older driver but the situation that exists existed when I was 18 and just starting to driver. I have gone through the days of hot cars and muscle cars and now that I am older I drive a very conservative car. Unlike the young drivers always in a hurry and state that they are great drivers and traffic signs just don't relate to me. The older person tends to obey these signs and traffic laws and signs such as STOP signs or NO TURN ON RED signs where the younger 20 to 35 year old driver just won't obey what they define as "Waste of Time" signs. They are always 10 to 15 above the speed limit driving through town and annoyed at the senior citizen obeying the limit. They dis regard double yellow lines by swerving around if there happens to be a momentary road stop. I could go on and relate horror expressway driving at speeds far in excess of the 65MPH speed limit while weaving from lane to lane in some high performance vehicle.

Insurance companies have the trend statistics for the accident rate of the young driver to the older driver and rates are set accordingly. The answer is that the older driver has definitely more experience and more important, tends to obey the laws where the younger driver abuses those laws if a particular situation dictates. Go to a driving class here in New York where for the most part the older driver goes every three years for a refresher course to receive a 10% discount on car insurance and the younger driver is there to wipe out points on his or her license to stop the suspension of their drivers license. I don't want to get into the cell phone and texting problems associated with the younger driver.The study should include how to upgrade the activities necessary to reduce the traffic infractions. Red light cameras and similar speed detecting devices would tend to help this situation.

Posted by: enowack | November 10, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

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