The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) is a source of all kinds of fascinating statistics. However, they’ve recently shed some interesting new light on drivers around the country, specifically those in Michigan. It seems the future will look decidedly different for drivers. So, is the change good, or bad? And what can be done about it?
Gender plays a role in the changing future of drivers…
In Michigan there are more women drivers than men, but only by a narrow margin. According to the stats, there are about 3.57 million female drivers across the mitten, as opposed to the 3.41 million male drivers. So, do more women get driver’s licenses in Michigan? It seems not. The reason, says the FHA, is due in part to the fact that more Michigan men have lost their driver’s licenses as a result of drunk driving convictions.
And so does age….
Another interesting fact is age. The number of drivers over the age of 50 has increased 22% in the last decade across the U.S. There are now 93.5 million mature drivers nationwide, which is just over 44% of all the drivers out there on US roads. In addition, the Transportation Department is apparently projecting a significant rise in the number of drivers over the age of 65. An increase they expect will reach 77% by 2045.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s been a marked decrease in younger drivers getting their driver’s licenses. Apparently, every year more and more young people (or their parents) choose to postpone getting a driver’s license or buying a car. This may be partly due to the economic struggles the nation has faced in recent years, but it’s not a trend that seems to be slowing as the economy gradually rebounds.
Are older drivers safer, or more dangerous?
And that’s not all…. According to research published by the Rand Corporation, drivers 65 and older are 16% more likely to get into an accident than drivers in the 25 to 64 age bracket! Surprised? So were we! However, that aside, they’re also more apt to use their seatbelts, avoid speeding, and are considerably less likely to drink and drive.
For many, this points towards a need for Michigan and our sister states to invest in and pursue policies aimed at making roads safer for older drivers. If the projections for the future of driving across the nation are accurate, by 2025 drivers 65 and older will represent 25% of all those on the road. Perhaps that will translate into fewer DUIs and fatal drunk driving accidents? Maybe…
The result may be fewer DUIs in the future!
The FHA says this may contribute to a steady decline in future DUI convictions. However it also might present a whole new set of challenges for future policy makers. Issues like whether or not to invest in making signs and road markings brighter and easier to read. And whether it’s a good idea (or a bad one) to have stricter vision and cognitive testing for senior drivers. It’ll be interesting to see how these subjects gets addressed by lawmakers over the next decade or so.
However, if you need help now, you can’t afford to see how this plays out. If you’re facing a drunk or drugged driving charge, don’t wait to get help! Call us today at 1-866-766-5245. Our skilled DUI defense attorneys have decades of experience helping the people of MIchigan fight for their futures. We can help you too!