09/23/2013 11:35 am ET

Study Shows Surprising Number Of Drivers Over 100


There's no question that more people are living to 100 today than ever before. In the United States alone, the centenarian population has jumped 65.8 percent over the past three decades, from 32,194 people who were age 100 or older in 1980 to 53,364 centenarians in 2010.

And this means the average age of drivers is growing as well.

In Britain, for example, nearly 200 motorists are still free to drive on despite being 100 or older, according to the Daily Mail. The paper reported that the number of people aged 70 or older who hold driving licenses has surpassed 4 million for the first time. The oldest licensed driver is a 107-year-old woman, while there are 191 people aged over 100 who still have their licenses.

Although older drivers have an exemplary safety record, generally speaking, some people apparently have expressed concern that some over the age of 70 might not be fit to be behind the wheel. Although Britons are required to declare whether or not they are fit to drive every 3 years after turning 70, the self-declaration is not backed up by any formal medical or driving tests.

The RAC Foundation, a motoring research charity in Britain, says that there are more than 4 million people over 70 with full British driving licenses and that the number could top 10 million within the next few years.

In the United States, more older drivers are on the road as well. In 2011, there were some 22.6 million licensed drivers 70 and older, representing approximately 79 percent of the population 70 and older and about 11 percent of drivers of all ages.

In Florida alone, there are more than 455 licensed drivers aged 100 or older. Between the ages of 91 and 100, there are more than 65,000.

Although there are more older drivers on the road, they appear to have a better safety record today than in years past.

A total of 4,052 people aged 70 or older died in car crashes in 2011 -- a 31 percent drop compared with 1997. The rate of fatalities per capita among older people also has decreased by about 45 percent since 1975 and is now at its lowest level.

What do you think of drivers aged 100 or older on the road? Let us know in the comments section.



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