A new report from Caring.com has found that Rhode Island is the most dangerous state in the country for senior drivers.
To make their list of top 10 most dangerous states for senior drivers, Caring.com compared the number of people aged 65 or older killed in car crashes in a given state with that age group’s share of the state’s overall population, using a variety of national data sources. The research found a number of factors that clearly impact these rates, including lax senior driving laws, population density, weather, out-of-date infrastructure, and lack of mass transport and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.
The research shows that Rhode Island has a significantly higher percentage of car accident deaths for people aged 65+ than the next most dangerous state (34.6% for Rhode Island vs. 27.5% for Maine).
According to the report’s summary of Rhode Island,
“The smallest state in the country is also the most dangerous for older drivers, our report shows. Senior citizens accounted for a whopping 35 percent of car-related deaths in 2014, but make up only 16 percent of the state’s population.
This startling statistic comes despite a state law mandating more frequent driver’s license renewals for drivers over 75.”
The other states making up the top 10 most dangerous list are Delaware, Washington, New Jersey, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Idaho, New York, Minnesota and Maine.
In contrast, the top 10 safest states for senior drivers are Connecticut, Florida, Wyoming, South Carolina, Mississippi, Montana, Alaska, Louisiana, North Dakota, and New Mexico.
Need tips on supporting an older family member or loved one who is (or should be) hanging up their car keys? See our previous news items on planning for driving retirement and driving & Alzheimer’s Disease. Caring.com also has an excellent article on assessing an aging parent’s driving.