Report says aging Georgia drivers causing more accidents

Some senior citizens say they're better drivers than younger drivers / Sarah Bleau

Lavania Carlton and Margaret Pellicano â" both in their 80s â" still drive their cars regularly, which is why they were surprised to hear about a new report ranking Georgia fifth in the nation for the number of drivers 65 and older killed in crashes in 2010.

The report by TRIP, a national transportation research group, also ranks the Peach State as sixth for vehicular fatalities involving a driver 65 and older.

"Some people are able to drive comfortably at that age where others are not," says Carlton.

Pellicano agrees, saying whether or not a senior citizen should drive depends on their health.

A lot of the senior citizens say they still drive because they need to get to the grocery store, to the doctor, some even still work, but they also say it also gives them independence.

"It's very important, just even knowing you can drive and have the opportunity too. It makes me feel better," says Pellicano.

Carlton says, "It's very important to just be able to go to the grocery store, to the bank, not long distances at all but just the change."

She says she hopes studies like this don't give senior citizen drivers a bad rap.

"It surprises me that they would feel that they should not be driving 65 and older; again it depends on the person," says Carlton.

Pellicano says most senior citizen drivers aren't as bad as other drivers.

"I think they can drive better than some of these younger drivers," she says.

TRIP's report also makes recommendations for ways to make roads safer for senior citizens, especially because of the aging Baby Boomer generation that will be driving. In the report, they suggest brighter and simpler signage with large lettering, promoting education and training programs for older drivers, and evaluating and monitoring "at risk" older motorists through appropriate licensing requirements.