Driving may get more difficult as people age and vision begins to decline
with vision sometimes declining, but children may actually be safer with
grandma or grandpa at the wheel, a study published in the journal
Parade magazine reported that, although adults have a similar accident rate,
accidents involving senior drivers resulted in less serious injuries.
Most children were reported to have been restrained at the time of the
crash. However, children in grandparent-driven vehicles were less likely
to use optimal restraints than in parent-driven vehicles. Despite this
factor, children in crashes with grandma or grandpa driving were at one-half
the risk of injuries than those in crashes with mom or dad at the wheel.
“These results suggest that there are some unaccounted-for protective
grandparent driving style characteristics,” the study stated. “An
extensive literature exists on older drivers, suggesting that as a group,
they are more risk averse than younger drivers but suffer from perceptual
deficiencies and problems judging and responding to traffic flow.”
The study also indicates that grandparents may be more cautious on the
road because they have ‘precious cargo’ in the vehicle.
The cross-sectional study of motor vehicle crashes that occurred between
2003 and 2007 involved children aged 15 years or younger, with cases identified
through insurance claims and data collected via follow-up telephone surveys.
It concluded that grandchildren seem to be safer in crashes when driven
by grandparents, but safety could be enhanced more if they followed current