According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the year 1997 through 2006 saw a 21 percent decline in fatal accidents involving drivers over the age of 70. During the same period, the number of elderly drivers in the nation increased by 10 percent.
The IIHS said that the decline in fatal crashes for their age group outpaced younger drivers despite adding 2 million more elderly drivers during the period.
IIHS offers a few explanations for the decrease saying that it could be due to safer cars and the elderly staying better shape. One explanation that makes most sense is that the elderly are limiting their driving schedules. An ongoing study finds that once a driver reaches the age of 80, he/she is much more likely to avoid driving at night, stay off the highways and interstates and drive less during weather storms.