12/04/2012 05:04 pm ET Updated Dec 05, 2012

Senior Drivers Safer Than Teens, According To Study

At the age of 97, Bill Keller has no need for a taxi service or public transportation -- he uses his car to get everywhere he needs to go. While he can’t turn his head like he used to, he told NBC’s "Today Show" that one of his biggest problems on the road is actually, “driv[ing] slowly. I love to drive fast.” In his 85 years of driving, Keller told NBC, he's only been involved in a fender-bender or two.

With a projected 15 million drivers older than 65 expected to be on America's roads by 2030, the concern around senior driving is picking up speed. But Keller is a part of a large group of elderly drivers who are driving more safely than their younger counterparts, according to a recent AAA report.

More than 30 million drivers are aged 65 or older in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the number is expected to grow to 40 million by 2020. Although drivers in their 60s have the same car crash rate as drivers in their 30s, drivers in their mid-to-late 80s have a car crash rate sharply lower than teens and 20-somethings. Check out the video above for more.

The number of fatal senior driving accidents has declined more than 40 pecent in the last three decades, according to the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety, and technology to prevent senior car accidents is growing. Keller’s car, for instance, contains a “push to start ignition button,” which helps him drive safely, NBC noted. AAA recommends a number of safety features for elderly drivers, including a grip steering wheel for drivers with arthritis, controls that easily raise and lower the seat, big dashboard buttons, and a back-up camera.

Still, only nine out of 10 seniors driving are in cars that fit their aging needs, according to AAA, suggesting that there is room for senior driver safety to increase. The slideshow below lists 10 technologies that aid aging drivers, based on research from The Hartford And MIT AgeLab.



Top 10 Car Technologies For Aging Drivers