2020 SafeTREC Traffic Safety Facts: Aging Road Users


The older adult population in the United States aged 65 and older is expected to almost double between 2016 and 2060, from 49 million to 95 million. In 2018, there were 6,907 people aged 65 or older killed in a traffic crash in the United States; this accounted for 18.9 percent of all traffic fatalities. To provide context, the overall population aged 65 or older accounted for 14.9 percent of people in the United States and 19.4 percent of all licensed drivers in 2017. California has the largest number of licensed drivers aged 65 or older in the nation with 4,251,349, or 15.9 percent of all licensed drivers in the state. However, as drivers age, physical and mental changes including reduced visual acuity, increased fragility, restricted movement, and cognitive impairment can directly and indirectly result in age-related driving impairments.

Analyses presented in this section include fatal and serious injuries to drivers, passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and other non-motor vehicle occupants aged 65 or older.

Fortin, Garrett
Cooper, Jill F.
Publication date: 
August 5, 2020
Publication type: 
Fact Sheet