Age Related

Older Drivers

See Also: Young Drivers,


Although age itself does not determine driving capabilities, older drivers can experience declines in their sensory, cognitive, or physical functioning, which could negatively impact their driving and may increase their risk of involvement in traffic collisions. In South Carolina, from 2008 to 2012, older drivers (defined as 65 or more years of age) were involved in 13.9% of all traffic fatalities.


Drivers aged 65 and older were involved in 10.5% of fatal collisions and 8.3% of severe injury collisions. While the involvement of older drivers in these collisions is less than their representation in the general driving population, older drivers are more likely to suffer severe injury or death when involved in a traffic collision.

Drivers aged 65 or older are more likely than their younger counterparts to be involved in fatal or severe injury collisions that occur at intersections, 40.2% versus 26.4%. Older drivers are more likely than their younger counterparts to be involved in a fatal or severe injury collision at an intersection than any other junction type.

  • Age Related Older Drivers
    (Age Group and License)
    View Graph


Education, Enforcement, Engineering and Emergency Management Services

1 Identify older drivers at an elevated risk.


1.1   Research additional procedures for screening drivers' abilities and skills.

Implementation Area(s):  Public Policy

1.2  Provide training to law enforcement and medical professionals for recognizing physical and cognitive deficiencies affecting safe driving in older drivers, including submitting reevaluation referrals to the DMV.

Implementation Area(s):  Enforcement,  Public Policy,  Education

1.3  Research Model Driver Screening and Evaluation Program Guidelines for Motor Vehicle Administrators for screening and evaluating older drivers' physical and cognitive abilities and skills.

Implementation Area(s):  Public Policy,  Education

2 Plan for an aging population.


2.1   Establish a broad-based coalition to plan for addressing older adults' transportation needs.

Implementation Area(s):  Education

3 Improve the roadway and driving environment to better accommodate older drivers' special needs.


3.1   Consider increasing size and letter height on roadway signs.

Implementation Area(s):  Engineering

3.2  Provide more protected left-turn signal phases at high-volume intersections, where supported by collision data.

Implementation Area(s):  Engineering

3.3  Consider lighting and other engineering countermeasures at intersections, horizontal curves, and railroad grade crossings where supported by collision data.

Implementation Area(s):  Engineering

4 Improve the driving competency of older adults in the general driving population.


4.1   Provide education and training opportunities to the general older driver population.

Implementation Area(s):  Education