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FHWA Home / Safety / HSIP / Older Drivers and Pedestrians Special Rule

Older Drivers and Pedestrians Special Rule

Overview

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act created a new Special Rule for older drivers and pedestrians under 23 USC 148(g)(2), which was continued under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.  If the rate per capita of traffic fatalities and serious injuries for drivers and pedestrians over the age of 65 in a State increases over the most recent 2-year period, this Special Rule requires a State to include strategies to address the increases in those rates in their State Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). FHWA issued the Section 148: Older Drivers and Pedestrians Special Rule Final Guidance in May 2016, and a set of Questions and Answers in February 2013 to provide guidance and information on how to determine if the Special Rule applies in a State.

Policy and Guidance

To determine whether the Special Rule applies in a State, the State will consider older drivers and older pedestrians collectively.  Beginning with the 2017 HSIP annual reports, States will  report fatalities and serious injuries involving older drivers and pedestrians 65 years of age and older, consistent with the most current version of the Section 148: Older Drivers and Pedestrians Special Rule Final Guidance.  States should provide seven years of data, ending with the year prior to the most current full year of data.  For example, in the 2017 HSIP report, States should report older driver and pedestrian data for the years 2009 through 2015.  

States will report the number of fatalities for drivers and pedestrians 65 years of age and older from the NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the number of serious injuries from a State’s data system for drivers and pedestrians 65 years of age and older. A serious injury is defined in a State according to the KABCO injury classification scale. Population figures for persons 65 years of age and older per 1,000 total population will be obtained from the U.S. Census. A table of the most recently available population data for those 65 years and older is below. The FHWA will use the information to calculate the older driver and pedestrian fatality and serious injury rate per capita and determine if the Special Rule applies to each State.  See the Section 148: Older Drivers and Pedestrians Special Rule Final Guidance for an example calculation. The FHWA will notify Division Offices of those States where the Special Rule applies no later than March of the following year.  States no longer need to self-report applicability of the Older Driver and Pedestrian Special Rule in their HSIP annual report, instead, FHWA will conduct the calculations.

If the rate of traffic fatalities and serious injuries for drivers and pedestrians 65 years of age and older in a State increases during the most recent 2-year period for which data is available, then the Older Drivers and Pedestrians Special Rule applies. If the Special Rule applies, the State must include strategies to address the increase in the older driver and older pedestrian fatal and serious injuries rate in its next update to their SHSP.  The State should also conduct a secondary analysis to determine whether the increase is attributable to older driver fatalities and serious injuries, older pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries, or a combination of the two.  This helps a State determine whether the emphasis on safety programs and countermeasures should be focused on older drivers and/or older pedestrians.  The FHWA encourages States to take into account the treatments listed in the 2014 FHWA publication, "Handbook for Designing Roadways for the Aging Population".

Resources

Section 148: Older Drivers and Pedestrians Special Rule Final Guidance  (May 2016)

Section 148: Older Drivers and Pedestrians Special Rule Questions & Answers (February 2013)

FHWA Handbook for Designing Roadways for the Aging Population  (2014) – This Handbook provides information that links aging road user performance to highway design, operational, and traffic engineering features. It supplements existing standards and guidelines in the areas of highway geometry, operations, and traffic control devices. The Handbook includes proven treatments for traffic control and design elements in the areas of intersections, interchanges, roadway segments, work zones, and highway-rail grade crossings and how to select treatments to address problems for aging drivers and pedestrians.

FHWA Office of Safety Older Road User website – Contains more information on crash facts, training, articles, and federal, state and community resources for older road users.

Population of 65 Years and Older In The United States (In Thousands)

STATE 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Alabama 658 674 700 722 747 762 784 803 830 854
Alaska 55 58 62 66 70 71 76 83 88 91
Arizona 887 923 971 1,019 1,071 1,120 1,170 1,201 1,259 1,307
Arkansas 420 429 441 454 465 478 486 497 508 524
California 4,269 4,398 4,599 4,794 4,990 5,190 5,348 5,505 5,667 5,835
Colorado 552 575 611 645 680 712 743 774 808 845
Connecticut 508 515 532 545 556 565 577 601 613 629
Delaware 129 134 141 147 154 161 167 173 181 190
District of Columbia 69 70 72 74 74 77 79 84 86 88
Florida 3,273 3,359 3,509 3,644 3,791 3,945 4,091 4,215 4,359 4,498
Georgia 1,034 1,076 1,139 1,191 1,249 1,303 1,359 1,402 1,456 1,523
Hawaii 198 203 210 220 228 237 244 254 261 269
Idaho 197 204 211 223 235 243 256 263 279 289
Illinois 1,615 1,643 1,696 1,740 1,788 1,828 1,873 1,948 1,991 2,045
Indiana 843 856 889 916 941 965 993 1,024 1,051 1,084
Iowa 453 458 470 480 491 501 514 525 538 554
Kansas 379 382 394 406 418 426 438 447 462 478
Kentucky 580 594 614 636 653 674 688 709 731 755
Louisiana 560 571 598 607 631 654 674 696 721 742
Maine 211 217 226 236 243 251 257 267 276 286
Maryland 710 732 763 794 822 847 876 903 931 960
Massachusetts 906 922 961 990 1,016 1,044 1,074 1,108 1,138 1,172
Michigan 1,366 1,388 1,443 1,487 1,531 1,571 1,609 1,665 1,720 1,766
Minnesota 687 701 730 755 778 805 830 859 889 921
Mississippi 383 387 403 414 427 441 450 466 474 487
Missouri 843 855 884 908 932 951 977 1,010 1,035 1,058
Montana 147 151 159 165 170 179 184 190 200 208
Nebraska 248 250 257 265 271 279 285 295 304 312
Nevada 327 340 359 381 401 422 442 459 475 498
New Hampshire 180 185 194 203 209 218 227 236 245 253
New Jersey 1,191 1,207 1,250 1,284 1,312 1,343 1,372 1,416 1,438 1,475
New Mexico 275 283 294 307 318 331 342 350 368 378
New York 2,624 2,665 2,759 2,830 2,896 2,962 3,031 3,161 3,212 3,296
North Carolina 1,240 1,276 1,347 1,405 1,461 1,516 1,569 1,630 1,689 1,751
North Dakota 98 98 101 103 105 107 110 113 116 120
Ohio 1,626 1,648 1,708 1,752 1,797 1,840 1,885 1,940 1,996 2,044
Oklahoma 510 517 536 548 562 576 588 601 620 635
Oregon 535 553 582 605 634 660 689 709 740 767
Pennsylvania 1,966 1,982 2,042 2,090 2,134 2,181 2,222 2,277 2,332 2,388
Rhode Island 152 154 159 163 167 171 174 177 183 187
South Carolina 635 655 695 725 762 794 830 866 900 936
South Dakota 118 120 121 125 129 135 138 142 146 154
Tennessee 860 879 921 950 987 1,016 1,045 1,070 1,105 1,139
Texas 2,619 2,708 2,838 2,967 3,096 3,222 3,353 3,465 3,600 3,739
Utah 251 258 272 283 295 308 319 335 351 365
Vermont 91 94 98 103 107 110 114 117 124 125
Virginia 980 1,010 1,062 1,105 1,147 1,187 1,228 1,272 1,318 1,358
Washington 830 861 908 951 993 1,037 1,079 1,118 1,164 1,208
West Virginia 299 301 311 320 329 336 344 351 361 367
Wisconsin 792 824 849 876 901 927 956 956 986 1,020
Wyoming 72 75 78 80 83 88 90 90 97 99
SOURCE: DP05: ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES

US Census Bureau American Community Survey

Page last modified on March 22, 2021
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