Older Driver Safety: A Report from the Older Drivers Project

Claire C. Wang, David B. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Older driver safety is a growing public health concern for which interventions are currently being sought. Statistics show that older drivers suffer a disproportionately high rate of motor vehicle fatalities compared with other adult drivers. This disproportion is due to two factors: an increased crash rate per vehicle mile driven and an increased risk of fatality in the event of a crash. Traditionally, traffic safety efforts for the older population have focused on methods to identify unsafe drivers to enforce driving cessation, but driving cessation deprives the majority of older Americans of their primary form of transportation and has been associated with an increase in depressive symptoms. In response to these concerns, the Older Drivers Project, created by the American Medical Association in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, describes and advocates a more acceptable approach to traffic safety. The primary objective of this approach involves helping older drivers stay on the road safely to preserve their mobility and independence. This can be accomplished through three methods: (1) optimizing the driver, (2) optimizing the driving environment, and (3) optimizing the vehicle. In this approach, driving cessation is recommended only after the safety of the driver cannot be secured through any other means.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-149
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Driving safety
  • Motor vehicle fatalities
  • Older drivers


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