New York : Older drivers drive better than younger ones although the former pose a much larger risk to themselves than to others because of their poor health, says a study.
In 2001, people aged 65 years and above accounted for about 15 percent of all licensed drivers but caused only about seven percent of accidents in the US, the study's researchers found.
By contrast, people aged 15 to 24 years accounted for just 13 percent of all licensed drivers but caused 43 percent of all accidents, reported the health portal News Medical.
"It is the youngest drivers who pose a greater risk to traffic safety," lead author David Loughran said. Loughran is a senior economist and professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School run by RAND.
Seniors appear to make fairly sound decisions about when to reduce the amount they drive or stop driving altogether, Loughran said.
"Not only do seniors drive much less than younger drivers, but they drive at safer times during the day and avoid poorer road conditions."
While driving ability declines with age for most people, those seniors who continue to drive appear to be safer drivers than the general public might think, Loughran said.
The study, however, said that seniors who drive pose a much larger risk to themselves than to others because they are more vulnerable to injury when they get into an accident.