Research finds Kansas has disproportionate number of older driver fatalities

Michael Ronnebaum
March 20, 2018 - 6:14 am

A national transportation research group released a report that shows Kansas is among states with the greatest share of fatal accidents involving older drivers. 

"From 2012 to 2016 the number of licensed drivers who are 65 or older increased by 16 percent," said Carolyn Kelly, associate director of TRIP. "During that same time, nationally, the share of fatalities and crashes involving older drivers increased by 22 percent."

Seniors share a greater number of fatalities, not because they are careless, but because of their physical condition, Kelly said. 

"These older drivers, when they are involved in a crash, may be much likely to survive that crash than a younger counterpart might be," said Kelly, who co-authored the report.

Another reason for the increase in fatalities involving older drivers is the increased level of mobility and active lifestyles of people today. 

Kansas ranks third in the nation in the percentage of fatalities that involve at least one driver who is 65 or older. Missouri is ranked 13th.

The report concludes that anticipated developments in self-driving and connected vehicles have the potential to provide older Americans with additional mobility options in the future. 

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