There has been a slight increase in the number of accidents involving older people (+0.5%) over the last ten years. The number of accidents in general has actually dropped significantly (-18% since 2006). One person in four killed on the roads is over 65, compared to one in six 25 years ago. This is according to a study published by the Vias Institute (formerly IBSR, Belgian Institute for Road Safety) on Sunday. Sunday was National Seniors Day.
Vias also said there are more cycle and motorbike accidents. The number of older cyclists killed or injured has increased by 26%. “The popularity of electric bikes could certainly explain this”, the Institute says. The number of older people killed or injured on a motorbike has also dramatically increased (+66%).
More than half of the older people killed on the road were on foot or on a bike, but that applies to one in five 35-64 year olds.
In general, 9% of road accident victims are killed or seriously injured, but that goes up to 17% for the older generation. This vulnerability can be explained by their more fragile health, Vias says.
Older drivers are more of a danger to themselves then to others: they are four times more likely to have an accident and be hurt. However, older drivers are half as likely to have an accident that injures someone else.