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Federal traffic agency prepares for influx of older drivers

The number of licensed drivers over the age of 65 in California is growing rapidly as baby boomers reach retirement age. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is well aware that there are more and more senior citizens behind the wheel, and they are working to ensure that the roads are safe for them.

Senior citizens are generally not any more likely than younger drivers to causecar accidents, but they are more likely to suffer serious injuries or death when they are involved in collisions.

NHTSA says that older drivers are actually among the safest drivers, but they do not tolerate accidents and injuries as well as younger drivers. In fact, in recent years the number of overall traffic fatalities has decreased in this country but the fatality rate among seniors has risen.

Additionally, last year the injury rate among older drivers increased by 16 percent from 2011. A total of 214,000 senior drivers were injured in 2012.

Last week, NHTSA announced that it will launch a five-year safety campaign to boost safety programs for senior drivers.

As it stands, there are 35 million licensed drivers who are over the age of 65.

When older California residents are injured in car accidents, they are likely to face significant medical bills as a result of their injuries. It can be important to seek legal counsel following a car accident to learn whether it is possible to hold a negligent driver accountable for such personal injuries. This can result in compensation for medical expenses, disability, pain and suffering and more.

Source: Associated Press, "Feds' focus turns to curbing crash injuries as more drivers hit 65," Lars Thorvaldsen, Dec. 7, 2013

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