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Older drivers often involved in daytime crashes more severe than younger drivers' crashes
Date:4/15/2010

sis showed that the severity of crashes for older drivers also is very high compared to the rest of the population. When looking at the categories of crash severity, older drivers have the highest incidents in fatal crashes, as well as incapacitating and non-incapacitating crashes. Older drivers also had a higher percentage of crashes occurring at intersections and accidents happening during daylight.

"That doesn't necessarily mean it's more dangerous during daytime," Dissanayake said. "It could be because older drivers do most of their driving during the daylight hours."

Most of the older-driver crashes involved colliding with another vehicle while in traffic. Few involved running off the road and hitting something, which is more common for young drivers, Dissanayake said. Right before their crashes, most of the older drivers were driving straight ahead, but a significant amount were making a left turn. Dissanayake said making a left turn is especially difficult when there is no green arrow, leaving the maneuver to the driver's judgment.

The study also identified the personal opinions and experiences of older drivers. The researchers distributed a survey for older drivers around Kansas at places like senior centers, retirement communities and churches. The results showed that more than 92 percent of the participants had more than 50 years of driving experience. Most of them reported driving cars, and 41 percent said they drove every day. However, the majority of older drivers said they drove less than 100 miles per month. The survey also showed that 65 percent of participants had never taken a driver education course, and 18 percent of the participants were involved in a crash in the last 10 years.

The survey also asked questions regarding the drivers' perceptions of the difficulties for different driving conditions. The participants said they don't mind driving in windy or rainy conditions, though they try to avoid driving in s
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Contact: Sunanda Dissanayake
sunanda@k-state.edu
785-532-1540
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

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