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Roadway Design Fact Sheet – 2008


Today only one in seven drivers on the nation’s roadways are age 65+. By 2029, approximately one in four licensed drivers will be 65+. As part of its mobility agenda, AARP produced this national fact sheet to provide background and recommendations on roadway safety to help prepare for an aging group of drivers.

Key Points

This fact sheet provides detailed statistical data regarding the increased risks of older people driving, as well as implementation plans to alleviate those risks. Despite older people being cautious drivers, the natural effects of aging can hinder the ability to drive effectively, and enhance the risk of accidents. Crash fatalities are four times more likely for persons aged 75 to 79 than for persons aged 30 to 59, primarily to due to fragility.

Other report highlights include:

  • Simple changes in several key problem areas – intersections, interchanges, railroads, construction zones, etc. – can greatly enhance the safety of roadways. In many cases, simply making signage and markings easier to see and understand accomplishes this goal.
  • While only 25 percent of driving is done at night, more than half of fatalities occur during nighttime hours. Proper maintenance of reflective markers is vital to making roadways safe at night.
  • The Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is a federal requirement of all state Departments of Transportation, and is used to establish common statewide objectives. Properly utilizing an SHSP can be an integral step in preparing roadways for aging drivers.

How to Use

Reviewing this fact sheet enables community planners and state Departments of Transportation to ensure their roads are prepared for an aging group of drivers. Instructing city planners and work crews to carry out these safety measures will greatly enhance the safety of a community’s roadways.

View full report: Roadway Design Fact Sheet – 2008 (PDF – 216 KB)

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