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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.  In their annual Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) report to FHWA, the State 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. The FHWA will provide population figures for persons 65 years of age and older per 1,000 total population. A table of the most recently available population data for those 65 years and older is below. The FHWA will then 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.

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. FHWA encourages States to take into account the treatments listed in the 2014 FHWA publication, "Handbook for Designing Roadways for the Aging Population". The FHWA will notify the Division Offices for each State where the Special Rule applies.

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 Thousands)

STATE 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Alabama 639 649 658 674 700 722 747 762
Alaska 48 52 55 58 62 66 70 71
Arizona 864 867 887 923 971 1,019 1,071 1,120
Arkansas 404 413 420 429 441 454 465 478
California 4,116 4,143 4,269 4,398 4,599 4,794 4,990 5,190
Colorado 512 534 552 575 611 645 680 712
Connecticut 477 487 508 515 532 545 556 565
Delaware 121 126 129 134 141 147 154 161
District of Columbia 71 70 69 70 72 74 74 77
Florida 3,183 3,199 3,273 3,359 3,509 3,644 3,791 3,945
Georgia 983 1,011 1,034 1,076 1,139 1,191 1,249 1,303
Hawaii 190 189 198 203 210 220 228 237
Idaho 182 185 197 204 211 223 235 243
Illinois 1,572 1,596 1,615 1,643 1,696 1,740 1,788 1,828
Indiana 813 828 843 856 889 916 941 965
Iowa 444 444 453 458 470 480 491 501
Kansas 367 367 379 382 394 406 418 426
Kentucky 563 570 580 594 614 636 653 674
Louisiana 539 554 560 571 598 607 631 654
Maine 199 205 211 217 226 236 243 251
Maryland 679 691 710 732 763 794 822 847
Massachusetts 870 894 906 922 961 990 1,016 1,044
Michigan 1,301 1,338 1,366 1,388 1,443 1,487 1,531 1,571
Minnesota 651 669 687 701 730 755 778 805
Mississippi 369 375 383 387 403 414 427 441
Missouri 802 822 843 855 884 908 932 951
Montana 136 141 147 151 159 165 170 179
Nebraska 240 241 248 250 257 265 271 279
Nevada 295 307 327 340 359 381 401 422
New Hampshire 169 178 180 185 194 203 209 218
New Jersey 1,150 1,169 1,191 1,207 1,250 1,284 1,312 1,343
New Mexico 262 265 275 283 294 307 318 331
New York 2,605 2,617 2,624 2,665 2,759 2,830 2,896 2,962
North Carolina 1,133 1,189 1,240 1,276 1,347 1,405 1,461 1,516
North Dakota 94 95 98 98 101 103 105 107
Ohio 1,572 1,601 1,626 1,648 1,708 1,752 1,797 1,840
Oklahoma 491 495 510 517 536 548 562 576
Oregon 504 515 535 553 582 605 634 660
Pennsylvania 1,908 1,945 1,966 1,982 2,042 2,090 2,134 2,181
Rhode Island 150 152 152 154 159 163 167 171
South Carolina 595 619 635 655 695 725 762 794
South Dakota 116 117 118 120 121 125 129 135
Tennessee 816 836 860 879 921 950 987 1,016
Texas 2,467 2,535 2,619 2,708 2,838 2,967 3,096 3,222
Utah 245 251 251 258 272 283 295 308
Vermont 87 89 91 94 98 103 107 110
Virginia 936 955 980 1,010 1,062 1,105 1,147 1,187
Washington 783 801 830 861 908 951 993 1,037
West Virginia 285 287 299 301 311 320 329 336
Wisconsin 748 760 780 792 824 849 876 901
Wyoming 66 67 70 72 75 78 80 83
SOURCE: DP05: ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES
USC 2015 American Community Survey – 1 Year Estimates
Page last modified on April 14, 2017
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