The older the drivers, the more likely they are to commit infractions and suffer accidents, they increase exponentially. This is one of the main conclusions drawn from the ” SAVIMA project: Road Health Barometer in the Elderly “, which has just been presented by the Road Safety Professor and president of the Spanish Foundation for Road Safety (FESVIAL), Luis Montoro .

The most frequent breakdowns, the percentage of accidents with victims or the types of accidents more common in the elderly motorists are some of the interesting data that are concluded in this study.

In Spain more than 30 million drivers exceed 65 years . A fact that does not surprise at all taking into account the progressive aging of the world population: currently this age group is estimated at 650 million and the estimates for the year 2050 is to reach 2,000 million. In the case of Spain, 17% of the population overcomes this barrier.

Own experience on the road shows us that, in general, older drivers have a tendency to drive at will with little consideration for other motorists. More than once you will have met an old man at the wheel going 80 km / h in the left lane or ignoring a yield to the pass. Constant danger, you could say …

According to this study , which has been based on accidents with older people involved between 2011 and 2015, as well as in an investigation carried out on 500 motorists older than 70 years in a Driver Recognition Center, the most frequent infractions among the elderly The age of 65 is not stopping at a stop sign, not respecting the priority, driving at an inadequate speed and not maintaining the safety distance. Sure it sounds to you.

These data are worrisome, since most of these maneuvers entail a lot of danger and significantly compromise road safety , which leads us again to consider that the driver’s license renewal system is not as demanding as it should be and that, perhaps, There should be an age limit to stop getting behind the wheel .

What’s more, the very acquisition of the card in this clear risk group should not be taken lightly: the well-known case of Trini , the 85-year-old woman who took her leave and crashed her quads within a few days is a clear example of this. Although it’s worse to not take it off and drive for more than fifty years .

Another fact to note is that the older the driver, the lower the use of the seatbelt : those who use this device least are motorists between 85 and 99 years . Alarming fact considering that they are the ones with the highest risk of death in case of an accident.

Of the 73,190 accidents with victims (deceased, minor injuries and serious injuries) analyzed in the report, 55,491 correspond to drivers over 65 years . We are talking, therefore, of 75.8% of the cases.

The accident rate in this group of motorists is serious and goes in crescendo: the drivers of advanced age involved in accidents were calculated at 16.4% in 2011, going to 23% in 2015.

The causes of this high accident rate range from the deterioration of psychophysical abilities (reaction capacity, loss of vision, physical difficulties) or ignorance of the norms that have evolved over the years. To this is added that the current cars look like spaceships with so much technology and that the signaling of the roads are not designed for older people.

In what type of accidents are they most involved?

If we look at the pure statistics, we find a majority of men involved in accidents (87%), compared to women (13%). It has a lot to do with the fact that they leave before driving them. In addition, males are twice as likely to die as female drivers.

By type of accident , the most frequent are the abuses, with 26.6%, followed by fronto-lateral impacts (19.6%) and subsequent reaches (15.4%). As for those that more fatalities are charged, road exits, frontal collisions and road accidents stand out.

The accident rate differences in deaths per 100 accidents are notable according to the region . By province, Zamora (13.1%), Navarra (12.6%), Teruel (10.9%) and Soria (10.7%) are in the lead, while Madrid, Barcelona or Vizacaya are the least deaths register. In the case of the autonomous communities, Navarra (12.6%) has the highest death rate, followed by Murcia (9.6%) and Extremadura 7.9%. On the other hand, the lowest percentage is found in Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque Country.

Rural areas are the most vulnerable, as shown by the data by geographical area and by accident rate according to the type of road : the number of deaths on the roads is the highest, followed by crossings and service roads.

The conclusions of this study have served to highlight a real road safety problem that should force administrations to put the issue on the table and take action.

Professor Luis Montoro has used the same project to draft a ” Road Sanitary Council Guide ” that is intended for the professionals of the Spanish Driver Recognition Centers. We can not but applaud your initiative.

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