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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

Older Driver/Senior Mobility Series


An Investigation of Older Driver Freeway Needs and Capabilities, Summary Report (FHWA-RD-98-162)

Analysis of Older Drivers on Freeways, Summary Report (FHWA-RD-96-035)

Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older Drivers and Pedestrians (FHWA-RD-01-051)

Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians (FHWA-RD-01-103)

Improvements in Symbol Sign Design to Aid Older Drivers (FHWA-RD-95-129)

Traffic Operations Control For Older Drivers And Pedestrians (FHWA-RD-95-169)


Because the number of older drivers is increasing—by the year 2020, adults aged 65 and older are projected to make up 20 percent of the population—it is necessary to design highways and roadside equipment with older drivers in mind. Solutions to the problems of older driver mobility and safety must be developed through the application of findings in human factors research in areas such as geometrics, signing and pavement markings of at-grade intersections, grade-separated interchanges, roadway curvature, passing zones, and construction/work zones.

For a better understanding of older drivers and transportation, the following articles were published in the Federal Highway Administration's Public Roads magazine.

January/February 2010
Spotlight on Senior Mobility
by Michael F. Trentacoste
This overview summarizes a series of articles that appeared in Public Roads over the past 3 years, focusing on transportation challenges that face an aging population.

January/February 2008
Mobility Services For All
by Yehuda Gross and Gwo-Wei Torng
ITS technologies are improving the quality of transportation for individuals in human service programs.

November/December 2007
New Vehicle Technologies May Help Older Drivers
by David Band and Mike Perel
Night vision enhancement, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, and other innovative systems enhance transportation safety for senior motorists. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/publicroads/07nov/02.cfm

March/April 2007
Old World Ways
by C.G.B. "Kit" Mitchell
Roadway designs in Britain and other European countries emphasize maintaining the safety and mobility of older pedestrians.

March/April 2007
Better Options For Older Adults
by Helen Kerschner and Joan Harris
Local planners are establishing supplemental transportation programs nationwide to help meet the needs of the growing senior population.

January/February 2007
Older Drivers at a Crossroads
by David A. Morena, W. Scott Wainwright, and Fred Ranck
Design and operational intersection treatments that simplify traffic movement and driving decisions can improve safety for motorists, both young and old.

July/August 2006
Marking the Way To Greater Safety
by Gene Amparano and David A. Morena
Bigger and brighter signs, more conspicuous signals, and wider stripes are among the innovations making highways safer for older road users.

May/June 2006
Road Users Can Grow Old Gracefully—With Some Help
by Lisa Phillips, Gabriel Rousseau, and Joanne Schwartzberg, MD
When making recommendations on infrastructure design, FHWA considers changes in the abilities of senior motorists and pedestrians.

May/June 2006
Gearing Up for an Aging Population
by Jane Stutts and Ingrid Potts
A new guide aims to improve driving safety for older road users.

January/February 2006
The Older Driver Comes of Age
by Thomas M. Granda and Shirley Thompson
As the senior citizen population increases, activities around the country are addressing transportation and mobility challenges.

January/February 2006
Guest Editorial: Ensuring Safe Mobility for America's Seniors
by Norman Y. Mineta
The Eisenhower Interstate System has brought about dramatic changes in the lives of all Americans. Yet in the coming years, the Nation's transportation system is likely to undergo further significant changes in order to accommodate the growing number of older Americans.

May/June 1999
Designing Highways with Older Drivers in Mind
by Elizabeth Alicandri, Mark Robinson, and Tim Penney
Aging affects a wide variety of skills that are critical to safe driving. Indeed, studies have shown that older drivers have high rates of crashes, injuries, and fatalities on a per-mile-driven basis. As the percentage of Americans aged 65 and older continues to grow, this significant problem grows in magnitude.

Human Factors

For reports and articles about older drivers and senior mobility, click here.

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