A new report released this week from The Associated Press shows that there are currently 500,000 drivers in the state of New York who are age 80 or older. There are currently 11.2 million licensed drivers in the state of New York, and the senior drivers represent a little more than 4% of that number.

Interestingly enough, those same 4.5% of the state’s licensed drivers account for just 2% of the total accidents. Senior drivers (80+ for the purposes of this report) accounted for 11,000 accidents in the state. This seems to fly in the face of so-called ‘conventional wisdom’ that senior drivers are a greater risk to other drivers than any other group. But facts are facts.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nationwide teen drivers are much more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than any other age group. Perhaps they lack sufficient experience behind the wheel to react appropriately when faced with a split-second decision on the road. Or perhaps they lack the common sense needed to drive defensively and take proper safety precautions when driving. Regardless of the reason, research indicates that teen drivers are much more likely to be involved in a serious crash than their grandparents.

With this in mind it seems unlikely the state of New York will find it necessary to increase current driver requirements for senior drivers. Other states, however, are currently reviewing their requirements for senior drivers and it is possible changes will be made where statistics seem to show it is warranted:

New York licenses, valid up to eight years, have no special blanket conditions for seniors. A vision test is required for renewals and the Department of Motor Vehicles can, on “reasonable grounds,” re-evaluate drivers whose skills and abilities are in doubt.