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Car Safety Rating System Proposed for Rising Ranks of Older Drivers

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Well maybe not for this senior driver.

Washington DC April 5, 2013; The AIADA newsletter reported that by 2025, one in five drivers in the U.S. will be age 65 or older. This is prompting federal regulators to consider the worthiness of a crash safety rating of new cars for older drivers.

The L.A. Times reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will post a request online today soliciting comments in the Federal Register on a range of topics, including a proposed "Silver Car Rating System for Older Occupants."

All of the comments are being sought for possible changes in the NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), which provides vehicle information that enables consumers to compare the safety performance and features of new vehicles.

"A 'silver car' rating system in NCAP could be developed as a tool for providing crash safety information for older consumers," the request for comments said. But NHTSA is likely to get an earful on how cars and sport utility vehicles that are labeled as safer for seniors in a crash might be a turnoff to the very population it is trying to help.

"It's a noble idea, but seniors don't want stereotypically 'older people' cars," said Jake Nelson, director of traffic safety advocacy and research for AAA. For more on the proposed rating system, click