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Home / MAP-21 / Guidance / Section 148: Older Drivers and Pedestrians Special Rule Interim Guidance

Section 148: Older Drivers and Pedestrians Special Rule Interim Guidance


Date Issued

February 13, 2013, FHWA Office of Safety

Effective date

October 1, 2012

Purpose:

On July 6, 2012, the President signed into law P.L. 112-141, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). MAP-21 created a Special Rule for Older Drivers. The purpose of this guidance is to clarify: 1) applicability of the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Special Rule to States; 2) reporting older driver information to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); and 3) implementing the Special Rule.

Legislation Reference:

23 U.S.C. 148(g)(2) states: —

if traffic fatalities and serious injuries per capita for drivers and pedestrians over the age of 65 in a State increases during the most recent 2-year period for which data are available, that State shall be required to include, in the subsequent Strategic Highway Safety Plan [(SHSP)] of the State, strategies to address the increases in those rates, taking into account the recommendations included in the publication of the Federal Highway Administration entitled 'Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians' (FHWA-RD-01-103), and dated May 2001, or as subsequently revised and updated.

Definitions:

The Secretary will promulgate rulemaking to define performance measures, as required in 23 U.S.C. 150(d). That rulemaking is expected to address the definition of serious injuries. In the interim, to define a serious injury States should use their existing highest non-fatal injury severity code that corresponds closest to the "A" value from the common KABCO injury severity scale, most frequently called "Incapacitating Injury." Other terms used by States to describe the highest non-fatal injury severity include "Major," "Severe" and "Disabling." States should use existing reporting systems, crash data, and forms. We do not expect States will need to make any changes to their crash data systems based on this Special Rule.

How To Determine Whether The Older Drivers and Pedestrians Special Rule Applies:

To determine whether the Special Rule applies in a State, the State should consider older drivers and older pedestrians collectively. 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, then the Older Drivers Special Rule would apply.

The number of fatalities for drivers and pedestrians 65 years of age and older from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) Annual Report File and the number of serious injuries from a State's data system for drivers and pedestrians 65 years of age and older should be added together. That amount should then be divided by the number of people in the State who are 65 years of age and older compared to total State population to determine the rate. To maintain consistency with other performance measures, States should compare the two time periods of 5-year rolling average rates of fatalities and serious injuries using a 2-year spread as described in Attachment 1. This approach provides a balance between the stability of the data (by covering multiple years) and for providing a recent accurate trend of the data (by using the most recent available data). Attachment 1 provides an example calculation. The FHWA will provide population figures for persons 65 years of age and older per 1,000 total population for 2005 through 2011. Attachment 2 provides the latest population figures that should be used. Beginning in 2013, FHWA will provide updated population figures to the States by October 30th of each year.

A State should consider the rate to have increased and the Special Rule to apply if the increase changes the rounded tenths after the decimal place. For example:

The State of Lincoln's 5-year average fatality and serious injuries per capita for drivers and pedestrians who are 65 years of age and older for the periods ending 2009 and 2011 increased from 2.12 to 2.14. Rounded to the nearest tenths, the rates for 2009 and 2011 are 2.1 and 2.1, respectively. Therefore the Special Rule would not apply to the State of Lincoln.

The State of Jefferson's 5-year average fatality and serious injuries per capita for drivers and pedestrians who are 65 years of age and older for the periods ending 2009 and 2011 increased from 2.30 to 2.39. Rounded to the nearest tenths, the rates for 2009 and 2011 are 2.3 and 2.4, respectively. Therefore, the Special Rule would apply to the State of Jefferson.

Reporting to FHWA

The first year States would determine whether the Older Driver Special Rule applies is 2013. The chart below shows the two corresponding time periods of data to use relative to the 2013-2015 year report dates.

Report Date for Older Driver
Special Rule
5-Year Moving Average of Fatalities and Serious Injuries for
Drivers and Pedestrians 65 years of age and older.
August 31, 2013 2005-2009 to 2007-2011
August 31, 2014 2006-2010 to 2008-2012
August 31, 2015 2007-2011 to 2009-2013

Starting August 31, 2013, States should include in their annual HSIP reports the calculations performed, verifying whether the Older Driver Special Rule applies in the State. If the Special Rule applies to a State in a given year, the State must include in its subsequent SHSP strategies to address the increases in the fatality and serious injury rates for drivers and pedestrians over the age of 65. FHWA will issue future guidance and rulemaking regarding requirements for SHSP updates.

State Implementation of the Special Rule

If a State determines that the Special Rule applies, it should conduct secondary analyses to determine whether the increase is attributable to driver fatalities and injuries and/or to pedestrian fatalities and injuries. This secondary analysis would help a State determine whether the emphasis on safety programs and countermeasures should be focused on drivers and/or pedestrians. If there has been an increase in the older driver and older pedestrian fatal and serious injuries rate, the Special Rule requires that a State include, in its subsequent SHSP, strategies to address the increases in those rates. In considering possible strategies, FHWA encourages States to take into account strategies listed in the 2001 FHWA publication, "Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians" and subsequently revised and updated versions.

Attachment 1: Example Calculation

Calculate Rate of Fatal (F) and Serious Injuries (SI) per capita for Drivers and Pedestrians 65 years of age and older for year ending in 2011 (2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007) and 2009 (2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005).

Calculate Rate for 2011

  1. (F+SI 2011 Drivers and Pedestrians 65 years of age and older/2011 Population Figure*) + (F+SI 2010 Drivers and Pedestrians 65 years of age and older /2010 Population Figure) + (F+SI 2009 Drivers and Pedestrians 65 years of age and older/2009 Population Figure) + (F+SI 2008 Drivers and Pedestrians 65 years of age and older/2008 Population Figure) + (F+SI 2007 Drivers and Pedestrians 65 years of age and older/2007 Population Figure) / 5

Calculate Rate for 2009

  1. (F+SI 2009 Drivers and Pedestrians 65 years of age and older/2009 Population Figure) + (F+SI 2008 Drivers and Pedestrians 65 years of age and older/2008 Population Figure) + (F+SI 2007 Drivers and Pedestrians 65 years of age and older/2007 Population Figure) + (F+SI 2006 Drivers and Pedestrians 65 years of age and older/2006 Population Figure) + (F+SI 2005 Drivers and Pedestrians 65 years of age and over/2005 Population Figure/5

Compare Rate for 2009 to Rate for 2011

  1. Is there an increase in the calculated rates between the periods ending in 2009 and 2011? States should consider the rate to have increased and the Special Rule to apply if the increase changes the rounded tenths after the decimal place.

    All rates should be calculated to the hundredths after the decimal point and then rounded to the nearest tenths. For example, 415/122 should be calculated as 3.51 and rounded to 3.5.

* Note: The relevant population figure can be obtained from Attachment 2 which shows number of people 65 years of age and older (per 1,000 total population).

Attachment 2: Number of People 65 Years of Age and Older (Per 1,000 Total Population)

STATE 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Alabama 129 133 135 137 138 137 140 145
Alaska 66 66 69 71 74 77 80 85
Arizona 126 128 129 133 131 138 142 148
Arkansas 135 138 140 142 143 144 146 150
California 105 108 109 112 112 114 117 121
Colorado 97 100 101 104 106 109 112 118
Connecticut 130 134 135 136 138 142 144 148
Delaware 130 134 135 138 142 144 148 154
District of Columbia 121 123 119 119 117 115 113 114
Florida 166 168 170 174 173 174 176 182
Georgia 92 97 99 101 103 106 110 115
Hawaii 136 139 144 147 146 145 148 151
Idaho 112 116 117 120 120 125 129 132
Illinois 115 119 120 122 124 126 128 132
Indiana 119 124 125 128 129 130 131 136
Iowa 140 146 147 148 148 148 150 153
Kansas 124 129 129 131 130 133 133 137
Kentucky 122 127 129 132 132 133 136 140
Louisiana 114 122 122 122 123 123 125 130
Maine 141 146 148 151 155 159 164 170
Maryland 112 115 118 121 121 123 126 130
Massachusetts 129 133 133 134 136 138 140 145
Michigan 121 125 127 130 134 138 141 146
Minnesota 116 122 122 125 127 129 131 136
Mississippi 119 124 124 125 127 129 130 135
Missouri 128 133 134 136 137 141 142 147
Montana 133 139 137 141 145 149 151 158
Nebraska 128 132 133 134 134 135 136 138
Nevada 112 110 111 113 116 121 125 130
New Hampshire 119 123 126 129 135 136 140 147
New Jersey 125 129 131 132 134 135 137 141
New Mexico 121 123 128 132 132 133 136 141
New York 127 131 132 134 134 135 137 141
North Carolina 117 121 122 123 127 130 132 138
North Dakota 142 146 144 146 147 145 144 144
Ohio 128 133 135 137 139 141 143 148
Oklahoma 129 133 132 135 134 136 136 141
Oregon 126 129 130 133 135 139 143 149
Pennsylvania 146 151 152 153 154 155 156 160
Rhode Island 136 138 138 142 144 145 146 151
South Carolina 123 128 130 133 136 137 140 147
South Dakota 136 143 143 144 144 144 146 145
Tennessee 122 127 128 131 133 135 137 143
Texas 96 99 100 101 102 104 105 109
Utah 85 88 88 90 90 90 92 95
Vermont 128 133 135 140 144 146 149 157
Virginia 112 116 117 121 121 122 125 130
Washington 111 115 117 120 120 123 126 132
West Virginia 150 153 155 157 158 161 162 168
Wisconsin 125 130 132 133 134 137 139 144
Wyoming 120 120 120 124 122 124 127 130

U.S. Census American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates for population 65 and older. Supporting documentation on code lists, subject definitions, data accuracy, and statistical testing can be found on the American Community Survey website (http://www.census.gov/acs/www) in the Data and Documentation section. Sample size and data quality measures (including coverage rates, allocation rates, and response rates) can be found on the American Community Survey website in the Methodology section at http://www.census.gov/acs/www/methodology/methodology_main/. Although the American Community Survey (ACS) produces population, demographic and housing unit estimates, it is the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program that produces and disseminates the official estimates of the population for the nation, States, counties, cities and towns and estimates of housing units for States and counties.

To show one calculation as an example for the numbers in Attachment 2, Alabama had 4,442,558 total population and 572,684 people 65 years and older in 2005. To get the number of people 65 years and over per 1,000 total population, one divides 572,684 by 4,442,558, which equals .129 or 129 per 1,000.

Page last modified on September 12, 2013.
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