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New “Silver” Rating to Help Older Drivers in New England

Older drivers face some serious obstacles behind the wheel. But there could soon be a way to help them get around some of these problems. According to The Washington Post, officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are proposing two new safety ratings geared toward older drivers and families.
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What officials are looking into is a “silver” rating. What this would do is look at how a particular vehicle can accommodate the needs of an older driver. They’re also looking at a “family” rating to see how well it’s going to protect back-seat passengers and children. These ratings would be extremely beneficial as the car we’re driving has a lot to do with how we’re going to make out in the event of an accident — and may even help us to avoid them in the first place.

Our Quincy car accident lawyers understand that these two ratings would be an excellent addition to the current five-star rating system. The truth of the matter is that we choose vehicles that can benefit and mold to our lifestyle. It’s important that this rating system grows as our needs do. Unfortunately, the addition of these two new ratings could take up to four years.

So why the “silver” rating? As we see more and more older drivers, as the baby boomer generation ages, we’re seeing more elderly drivers. This wave of drivers has been cleverly dubbed the “silver tsunami” and consists of drivers who are over the age of 64. By 2025, the AARP estimated that about 20 percent of drivers will be over the age of 54, meaning there will be more than 55 million elderly drivers on the road. That’s compared to the less than 40 million we have today.

Stereotypically speaking, elderly motorists are less likely to survive an accident compared to younger occupants. That’s why it’s important that our elderly motorists are best protected out there — and that can be done by purchasing a vehicle that can best suit their needs.

According to federal accident statistics, older drivers account for the highest fatality rate in serious crashes.

According to newly-released statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 100 people over the age of 64 who were killed in traffic accidents in the state of Massachusetts in 2011.

These older individuals made up 17 percent of all traffic fatalities and 8 percent of all people injured in traffic crashes during the year.

Our older drivers face vision problems and hearing deterioration. They may not be as flexible as they once were and their risks for accidents are higher. This is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s all a part of growing up. But there are ways that we can help to ensure their safety. Let’s all work together to keep those older drivers safe behind the wheel. Keep an eye on them, make sure they’re doing alright and make sure they’re in the best car to suit their needs.

If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

More Blog Entries:

NHTSA Focuses on Distractions Caused by In-Car Technology, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 2, 2013

Will a Driverless Car Make Car Accidents a Thing of the Past?, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, April 16, 2013