New Study Finds Elderly Drivers More Likely to Have Auto Accidents

For 68 year old Mel Wood, driving isn't only a necessity, it's also his profession.

Wood is a driver for the East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging.

"Oh I drive the speed limit whether anybody's in the car or not," said Wood.

Mel Wood takes issue with a new study that finds drivers over 65 are 25% more likely to get into auto accidents than middle-aged people. The study by Triple A's Foundation for Traffic Safety finds that people aged 85 and up are nearly 4 times more likely than middle-aged drivers to be killed if they get into a crash.

"I don't believe it. I'm almost out there driving everyday, and I see it almost the exact opposite," said Wood.

Wood says he's most afraid of drivers with cell phones up to their ears, but according to this study, they find as drivers age, they suffer increasingly from decreased perception and motor skills.

This study also finds that left turns typically cause the most accidents, because people are more inclined to make quick judgments.

The Triple A Foundation for Traffic Safety says this study proves what's been always suspected, but at the same time they aren't recommending any new laws.

In the State of Arkansas there are no laws preventing older drivers from getting behind the wheel, but all drivers are subject to lose their licenses or be re-tested if the court sees fit.