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Seniors at the wheel: How drivers over 65 misbehave in accidents

2023-12-05T15:38:20.016Z

Highlights: Seniors at the wheel: How drivers over 65 misbehave in accidents. EU is planning roadworthiness tests for drivers aged 65 and over. But what kind of misconduct do 65-year-olds actually notice in accidents? The Federal Statistical Office analysed accident figures in Germany – distinguishing between drivers over and under 65 years of age. In 2022, 77,700 people over the age of 65 were involved in accidents involving personal injury – this corresponds to 15.1 percent of all those involved with age information.



Status: 05.12.2023, 16:30 PM

By: Sebastian Oppenheimer

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The EU is planning a fitness to drive check for senior citizens. But what are the differences in the causes of accidents compared to those under 65 years of age?

A driver's license still means a bit of freedom – especially in rural areas, where getting around by public transport is often much more difficult than in the big cities. However, you have to be able to afford the "rag" first. It gets especially expensive if you don't pass the exams: According to the TÜV Association, cheating attempts in the theory exam have recently increased significantly. But once you pass, you have a driver's license for life – unless you don't follow the rules. But that could soon change: The EU is planning roadworthiness tests for drivers aged 65 and over. But what kind of misconduct do 65-year-olds actually notice in accidents?

Accidents with personal injury: Federal Statistical Office compares age groups

The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) has analysed accident figures in Germany – distinguishing between drivers over and under 65 years of age. According to the report, around 2022,309 car drivers were involved in an accident resulting in personal injury in 300. In 57.1 percent of the cases, the drivers were also the main culprits. However, when people over the age of 65 were involved in an accident with personal injury, they were also the main cause in more than two-thirds of the cases (68.7 percent). Among people over 75 years of age, this figure was even higher in around three out of four cases (76.6 percent) – the highest figure of all age groups. However, even in the group of 18 to 20-year-olds, drivers were mainly responsible for accidents in 70.8 percent.

However, the causes of accidents differ according to age groups. According to the analysis, people over the age of 65 were accused of violating the right of way more often than those under 65 years of age (21.1 percent to 16.6 percent). Likewise, the seniors were often accused of mistakes when turning, turning, reversing, entering and starting off.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, the causes of accidents among drivers over 65 years of age differ from those in younger age groups. (Symbolic image) © Pond5 Images/Imago

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Alcohol and excessive speeding: this is where the under-65s excel

For other causes of accidents, however, the under-65s were more strongly represented. Younger people were significantly more likely to disregard the distance regulations (16.3 percent to 10.8 percent). They were also significantly more likely to be accused of speeding (11.4 percent vs. 5.2 percent) or driving drunk (4.3 percent vs. 1.1 percent).

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Seniors are less likely to be involved in accidents than younger people

According to the Destatis analysis, senior citizens are less likely to be involved in traffic accidents than younger people in relation to their share of the total population. In 2022, for example, 77,700 people over the age of 65 were involved in accidents involving personal injury – this corresponds to 15.1 percent of all those involved in accidents with age information. However, in 2022, 22.1 percent of Germans were at least 65 years old. Destatis experts speculate that the lower incidence of accidents has to do with the fact that older people are less likely to drive than younger people – for example, they no longer drive to work.

The planned driving licence tests for senior citizens are controversial: a recent poll showed overwhelming support for the EU's plans. The ADAC, however, is critical of the plans – and Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) is also against it.

Source: merkur

All tech articles on 2023-12-05

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