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Driving Safely in Maryland: Teens & Seniors


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Unique considerations influence driving safety for seniors and teens in Maryland. Understanding the risk factors for each demographic can aid awareness and promote driving safety.

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Driving Safely in Maryland: Teens & Seniors

  1. 1. Driving in Maryland – What You Need to Know for All Ages (from Teens to Seniors). Learn More Learn more at
  2. 2. Shared Roads & A Shared Responsibility There are over 32,000 miles of public roads in Maryland. These are maintained through our shared taxes and their safety is a shared responsibility. WE HAVE A DUTY TO OTHERS TO DRIVE SAFELY. • Each year traffic crashes kill more people in Maryland than homicides. [source] • Over 90% of total crashes are preventable incidents caused by driver error. • Each year in Maryland, over 55,000 people are injured in vehicle collisions and almost 650 are killed.
  3. 3. Key to safe driving is an understanding and awareness of the different types of danger. Different age groups are prone to different risks. Being aware of these can help you stay alert while driving. What Can I Do?!? Practice Safe Driving. Did You Know? Adults, not teens, are the biggest texting-while-driving problem in the U.S. [source]
  4. 4. There are 3 fatal traffic accidents every day involving people over 85 years of age. Only teenagers have a higher rate of motor vehicle accidents than seniors. [source] Senior Drivers. Not Good News. Per capita crash rates begin to increase at about age 70, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
  5. 5. SAFE DRIVING IN MARYLAND – AT ALL AGES. Unique Considerations for Seniors #1 Type of Accident for Seniors? Failure to Yield the Right of Way. As we age, like it or not, our eyesight begins to deteriorate. This may explain why 35% of accidents involving drivers 80 and over are caused by a failure to yield at an intersection (compared with 18% in other age groups). In addition, older drivers tend to misjudge whether they have time to proceed. Baby Boomers are aging, with 10,000 Americans each day reaching 65 years of age. 10,000
  6. 6. SAFE DRIVING IN MARYLAND – AT ALL AGES. Unique Considerations for Seniors Your Health - More Than Age - Effects Driving Safety. Many older adults routinely take medications for a medical condition. Nearly one-third of Americans ages 57 to 85 take at least five prescription drugs -- people with chronic illnesses may take more than 20. [source] Maryland has over 600,000 drivers ages 65 and over. 600,000 Many of these medications can have an impact on driving ability. Likewise, some over-the-counter medications can cause dizziness, blurred vision, and inability to concentrate or make good decisions. Even in its early stages, dementia can cause a driver to get lost or become confused.
  7. 7. SAFE DRIVING IN MARYLAND – AT ALL AGES. Awareness Can Improve Safety Being aware of the risk factors unique to senior drivers can help encourage safe driving and greater mindfulness when on the road. • Visual impairment may keep a senior from seeing a hazardous situation up ahead or to the side. • Motor skills may be affected by arthritis or similar ailments. • Reaction times are usually slower, and stressful maneuvers like merging or changing lanes may cause an otherwise confident person to be nervous and hesitant, creating a danger for others on the road.
  8. 8. Teens make fatal mistakes, leading this age group to have triple the risk of dying in a car crash as that of drivers over 20[source] Teenage Drivers. Not Good News. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among American aged 13-19.
  9. 9. SAFE DRIVING IN MARYLAND – AT ALL AGES. Teen Troubles: You’re Not Invincible • Crash rates are the highest during a teen's first few months behind the wheel. [source] • Between 2007–2011, an average of 15,801 crashes involving young drivers occurred on Maryland's roadways. • Motor vehicle injuries cause the death of 7 teens aged 16 to 19 each day. There are 780,000 teenagers in Maryland; approx. 14% of our state. 780,000
  10. 10. SAFE DRIVING IN MARYLAND – AT ALL AGES. Awareness Can Improve Safety Being aware of the risk factors unique to teen drivers can help encourage safe driving and greater mindfulness when on the road. • Lack of Age and Driving Experience mean teens have had less practice at safe driving and fewer learning opportunities to improve. • More Impetuous and are more likely to speed and tailgate. • More Distractions including cell phones and other passengers. • Poor Decisions - teenage drivers and passengers are among those least likely to wear their seat belts. [source]
  11. 11. SAFE DRIVING IN MARYLAND – AT ALL AGES. Unique Considerations for Teen Drivers Age & Attitude Effect Driving Safety. Crashes are not only caused by bad decisions, but the physical condition of adolescence can have an effect on young people’s behavior behind the wheel. An average of 9,546 people were injured annually, due to young-driver involved crashes, accounting for 20% of all Maryland's traffic injuries. 20% In early adolescence, the prefrontal cortex, which helps with weighing alternatives, calculating risks and making complex decisions, is still developing. In fact, the brain continues to mature into the mid-20s. There is also more dopamine activity in teens, which can lead to pleasure-seeking activities, such as speeding. [source]
  12. 12. We share the roads, and the responsibility for driving safely. Almost 33,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. in 2013; 465 of those deaths occurred on Maryland roads. Another 2.3 million were injured in U.S. traffic accidents that year. We ALL Need to Drive Safely. The Good News. Fatal vehicle accidents have been on the decline in recent years… let’s keep the trend going.
  13. 13. Stay Aware & Safe @ All Ages.