Larger stoplights, street signs reduce accidents for elderly

In Detroit, workers have been busy repainting the median strips, installing larger and brighter stoplights and upgraded walk lights, increasing the size of street signs and adding left turn lanes. The street renovation project is part of an effort to make intersections safer for older drivers.

The upgrades cost anywhere from $500,000 to $1.5 million per intersection, according to the Michigan chapter of the AAA motor club, which donated $2 million to finance the pilot program in Detroit and Grand Rapids. In total, the renovation has cost $27 million over the past four years.

The project has had positive results. Since 2002, the number of injury crashes at 30 corners on the busy Woodward Avenue dropped 4 percent for drivers 25 to 64 and 35 percent for drivers 65 and older.

“These are basic, simple changes that every community can take to keep streets safer for older Americans – and people of all ages,” Bella Dinh-Zarr, national director of traffic safety policy at AAA, told USA Today.