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With the elderly driving population increasing at a rapid rate, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a new strategic plan aimed at helping individuals over the age of 65 navigate the road safely.

 

"Although older drivers are some of the safest drivers on our roads, our plan builds upon the NHTSA's current work to help older people drive as safely and as long as possible," said David Strickland, administrator for NHTSA.


The plan will focus on three areas:


  • Vehicle Safety: The NHTSA is examining a variety of technologies that would make vehicles safer for older drivers, such as vehicle-to-vehicle communications, collision avoidance and crashworthiness.
  • Improved Data Collection: The NHTSA is focusing on improving its data collection methods and is currently evaluating various data including crash rates and the effects of age and age-related medical conditions on driving behavior.
  • Driver Behavior: The NHTSA is also educating the public in order to help at-risk drivers.


According to U.S. Department of Motor Vehicles data compiled by The Associated Press, several states have special licensing laws for their senior citizens. For example, in Florida, individuals over the age of 80 must renew their driver's licenses once every six years, rather than the eight years mandated for younger motorists. Similarly, in Georgia, drivers aged 59 and older have to renew their license every five years.