Young adults, elderly have highest road fatality rates: study

November 9, 2011

Ann Arbor, MI – Despite decreases across all age groups, young adults and the elderly still have the highest rate of roadway incident fatalities, according to a new report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Researchers analyzed roadway incident fatality data from 1958 to 2008 by age and found that the overall fatality rate per population decreased 40 percent over that time period, according to the study abstract. Data showed that young adults 15-24 years old have a fatal injury rate of 21 per 100,000 incidents, and those 75 and older have a rate of 19 per 100,000 incidents. In comparison, the fatality rate for adults 25-74 years old is 14 per 100,000 incidents.

The overall fatality rate experienced an increase between 1958 and 1968, but decreased each decade after, which researchers attributed to “major safety interventions” in vehicle design, the introduction of passive and active safety measures, and stricter driving laws.