Wisconsin has highest rate of elderly driver fatal crashes in America

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A study shows Wisconsin has the highest rate for fatal crashes involving elderly drivers in the country.

The study conducted by TRIP, a national transportation research group, says 26 percent of fatal crashes in Wisconsin in 2016 involved someone 65 years or older. That's despite the state having a lower percentage of older drivers compared to many states.

David Pabst is safety director for the state's Department of Transportation. He tells Wisconsin Public Radio that it's "an alarming statistic" and "a serious problem."

Pabst says people ages 65-70 generally have good driving skills and few accidents. They also travel fewer miles.

Elderly drivers' health is more fragile so they're more likely to have serious or fatal injuries in a crash. Pabst says the department needs to encourage people to get cars that work for them as they age.

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