Older Drivers Make Up Fastest-Growing Segment of Motorists

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CARS.COM — What's the fastest growing group of drivers in the U.S.? If you think it's millennials, think again. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration, drivers over the age of 85 are hitting the streets in record numbers. The number of motorists in this age group doubled between 1998 and 2013, to 3.48 million drivers, the Los Angeles Times has reported.

Related: What's the Most Dangerous State for Older Drivers?

What's alarming is that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal crash rates increase notably between the ages of 70 and 74 and spike among drivers age 85 and older. "This is largely due to increased susceptibility to injury and medical complications among older drivers rather than an increased tendency to get into crashes," the CDC said in a statement.

There are several ways seniors can stay safe on the roads, from opting for a vehicle with high safety scores and ample safety features to adaptive devices recommended by the American Occupational Therapy Association's Older Driver Initiative and, finally, an appointment with CarFit, a group that assesses a vehicle and recommends ways it can be tailored to better meet the needs of the driver. 

How do you know when it might be time for your loved one to give up the keys? Click here for tips to navigate the safe-driving talk with older relatives.

Family Safety Senior Drivers

Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan.  Email Jennifer