Skip to main content
European Commission logo
Mobility & Transport - Road Safety

Older drivers: Risky or at risk?

Older drivers are often characterised as a group that has a high fatality rate in traffic. This high fatality rate can be caused both by increased crash involvement and by increased injury severity. Older drivers - that is, those aged 75 and above - are, however, very diverse, in driving skills as well as in physical and mental abilities. One thing that they do have in common is their low annual mileage. This may have an influence on their crash rate, since drivers travelling fewer kilometres have increased crash rates per kilometre compared to those driving more kilometres. In addition, they generally drive less on motorways (with interchanges), the safest types of roads, and tend to drive on streets with intersections, which are, by their very nature, less safe. This is reflected in the crash types that are common among older drivers. Older drivers are over-represented in crashes at intersections, where typically the older driver turns against oncoming traffic with right of way on the main road.