Report ranks Arizona 13th in nation for older driver fatalities

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Arizona ranks 13th among states in older driver fatalities. (Source: CBS News) Arizona ranks 13th among states in older driver fatalities. (Source: CBS News)
The Baby Boomer generation is driving into their golden years. (Source: CBS News) The Baby Boomer generation is driving into their golden years. (Source: CBS News)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A study released Tuesday ranks Arizona 13th for states with the most number of fatalities involving drivers 65 and older.

The number of Baby Boomer drivers continues to grow at a significant rate. Their ranks are being reduced at an even greater rate according to “Preserving the Mobility and Safety of Older Americans,” a study from TRIP, a nonprofit organization, based in Washington DC. 

The report says that older Americans are leading more mobile and active lifestyles than previous generations making it critical that the nation adopt traffic safety improvements that will make our roads and highways safer not only for older drivers, but for all drivers.

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According to the TRIP report, an estimated 46 million Americans are 65 or older, accounting for 15 percent of the total population.

The study says here in Arizona, there are nearly 900,000 licensed drivers 65 years or older, ranking 16th in the nation. By 2060, they estimate the number of Americans 65 and older will more than double and their proportion of the total population will reach 24 percent.

[RELATED: Stop parents from driving]

The good news is they expect these older Americans to enjoy an active lifestyle that far outpaces previous generations. Better built roadways top the list of recommendations to improve the safety of the aging American driver.

“As transportation agencies work to reduce fatalities and serious injuries among older drivers, we are able to implement safety improvements that assist all road users,” said Rudy Malfabon, director of the Nevada Department of Transportation and chair of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Committee on Highway Traffic Safety.

"Wider lane striping, larger sign lettering, and more prominent milepost signage are just a few of the strategies that benefit older road users," said Malfabon.

The report concludes that the nation’s transportation system will need to be improved to accommodate our older generation of drivers.

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