How a Demographic Shift Will Affect Road Safety

Posted on July 16, 2012


In California, projections show that over the next few decades the number of young people and the number of older people living in the state will increase dramatically, while the number of middle-aged residents isn’t expected to grow as much.  Demographics have an effect on everything from voting to business performance to shopping habits.  MarkertMAPS ( looks at one place where demographics have a larger impact than we often think: on the road. 


George Valverde, the director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, identified the state’s shifting demographics as his agency’s top challenge moving forward.  “We’ve been focusing on older drivers. That certainly is a challenge adapting to changes in the demographics of society,” he said while meeting with the St. Helena Star editorial board in late June. “There is this large group of seniors, but you also have a corresponding large group of younger drivers.”

There are 24 million licensed drivers inCalifornia. Demographic shifts from the U.S. Census Bureau and other agencies suggest that the pools of drivers to grow the most over the next few decades will be the elderly and young, novice drivers, leaving middle-aged experienced drivers in the trough.

Traffic safety statistics, however, suggest that the elderly are less of a threat to road safety than younger drivers.  People over 60 make up about 14% of California’s licensed drivers but account for only 12% of injury collisions.  To contrast this, younger drivers (between 15 and 24 years old) accounted for about 22% of all injury accidents and nearly 22% of all fatal collisions in 2009, while making up only 13% of licensed drivers.

Technology, it seems, is one solution to securing road safety.  The DMV director noted ongoing advancements in autonomous vehicles as being a possible answer to traffic safety. In May 2012,Nevadalicensed the nation’s first driverless car, the product of Google technology that relies on video cameras, radar sensors and satellite positioning.

Demographics help us gauge our surroundings.  We get a better idea of who the people living in our area are, and how their demographic makeup affects everything from business performance to purchase behaviors.  Demographic information is invaluable when it comes to businesses.  For over 25 years, MarketMAPS has been publishing premium demographic maps, helping businesses target their market, evaluate business locations, and target direct mail with detail and precision.  Using 100’s of demographic variables, MarketMAPS prints demographic maps to help businesses assess their customers and markets.  Using the most accurate mapping data, MarketMAPS provides individuals with the demographic maps they need, as quickly as next day.

Contact MarketMAPS today and discover how our demographic maps can help you better assess your customers and markets. 

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