BUFFALO, N.Y. – There’s a phenomenon called a ‘mobility gap’ happening in America and it’s getting larger by the second. Some safety experts say this bubble has been growing for years and it’s already outliving its life-expectancy but eventually, it will burst.
The generation referred to as ‘boomers’ – people born between the mid 1940’s and mid 1960’s – are changing road safety. One of these boomers turns 69 every eight seconds and their risk of getting in a devastating car crash inches higher each year.
Buffalo car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say if boomers stay on the road throughout their retirement years, there could be an uptick in devastating accidents.
“Older drivers are just as likely to cause a crash as teen drivers in Buffalo,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “Adding fuel to this fire: millions of these drivers are among a generation that created the car-focused suburbs and it might not be easy to let go of the keys.”
Decades ago, experts predicted 2015 would start a dangerous and deadly era of traffic collisions involving drivers over 65. Instead, boomers are proving those ‘experts’ wrong.
Crashes involving drivers over the age of 70 have dipped by over 15 percent in recent years. Buffalo car accident attorneys say this is likely due to a variety of reasons, the chief being improved car safety.
“Cars are much safer today than they were five or ten years ago because we now see more standard air bags, strict seat belt laws and automatic braking is beginning to emerge but the stereotype of that ‘little old driver’ is changing,” Barnes said. “People are living more active lifestyles and they’re much healthier today than drivers of previous generations.”
Thousands of seniors take an AARP Safe Driving course each year but recent polls found these drivers didn’t doubt their driving skills. Instead, they were taking the class to qualify for their insurance company’s “safe driver” discount.
It’s clear now that the 2015 doom-and-gloom-auto-accident ‘bubble’ predictions didn’t come true. However, experts warn the road ahead isn’t perfect.
Doctors believe many boomers will outlive their ability to drive; albeit in their 80’s, 90’s or even later years. Most boomers aren’t worried. They hope autonomous vehicles will make driving a car yourself archaic history by that time.