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Number of fatalities involving older drivers on the rise in Arizona

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PHOENIX — Data that was recently released uncovered a disturbing trend involving older drivers in Arizona.

The number of fatalities in Arizona involving older drivers has increased by 54 percent since 2012, Rocky Moretti, the director of policy and research with the transportation research group TRIP told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Moretti said this was a drastic change from the national average of 22 percent increase.

While approximately 18 percent of all licensed drivers in Arizona are 65 and older, equating to about 900,000 drivers total, Moretti said there is no insight as to why the increase occurred.

“We’re seeing a greater share of Americans driving as they age,” he said.

Arizona is attractive to older Americans, who are taking to the roads more and more, but Moretti said the state needs to take precautions to keep drivers of all ages safe.

“As the baby boom generation retires, it’s important to maintain mobility as it is critical to the quality of life,” he said.

Moretti said some of the steps that can help keep drivers safe include implementing signage with bigger text that is easier to read.

For years, Arizona has been known as one of the top destinations for retirees due to the weather conditions and cheap cost of living. Some of the best places to retire in Arizona, according to Niche, included Sun City, Catalina Foothills and Green Valley.

KTAR News’ Jeremy Foster contributed to this report. 

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