U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
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 and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). 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 HSIP Special Rules Guidance in February 2022, 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.
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 HSIP Special Rules 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. 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.
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".
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.