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Report: Transportation system inadequate for aging boomers
By Insure.com staff

Although aging baby boomers will be more mobile and active than any previous generation, they will face a transportation system inadequate to offer the safety they and other drivers need, according to a new report by TRIP, a nonprofit transportation research group in Washington, D.C.

Older drivers are involved in a disproportionate number of deadly traffic accidents. Although drivers 65 and older account for 8 percent of miles driven, they are involved in 17 percent of all traffic fatalities, the report says.

The population of Americans 65 and older is expected to grow by 60 percent by 2025, at which point one in every five drivers will be over age 65, according to TRIP.

Florida lead the nation in the number of traffic fatalities in which the crash involved a driver 65 or older in 2010. It also was No. 1 for the number of drivers 65 and older killed in traffic crashes that year.

The TRIP report includes recommendations to make roads safer, such as clearer, brighter and simpler signage, widening or adding left-turn lanes and extending the length of merge or exit lanes. It also called for better education for older drivers and monitoring of at-risk older motorists. In addition, the group recommends improved vehicle design to withstand and avoid crashes and expanded public transit and other transportation services for older adults.

Floridians for Better Transportation, a transportation advocacy group in Tallahassee, joined TRIP in calling for measures to ensure safer driving conditions.

"In the next 20 years, the Sunshine State will continue to be a place where Americans choose to retire -- more than 50 percent of its expected 5 million population growth will be citizens 60 and older," Matthew D. Ubben, president of Floridians for Better Transportation, said in a press statement. "Our goal of a safe and efficient transportation system will demand additional resources as we design safer roadways, improve vehicle design, increase law enforcement sensitivity, and provide more frequent driver assessments."

Many car insurance companies offer discounts to seniors who complete senior driver education courses.

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