) -- The rate of driving-related deaths for male baby boomers is rising, in sharp contrast to a decline in driver-related deaths for every other male and female age group, recent federal data shows.
The increase coincides with an increase in drunk driving fatalities among baby boomers, both men and women.
An Edmunds.com analysis of driver fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the number of annual traffic fatalities for men between the ages of 51 to 65 rose by nearly 25% between 2000 and 2009.
During the same period, annual fatality figures for all male drivers regardless of age declined by more than 20%. Fatality figures for all females also declined 20% during the same ten-year period.
Meanwhile, drunk driving fatalities among men and women ages 51 to 65 increased by 37% between 2000 and 2009, while overall drunk driving fatalities among all drivers fell by nearly 7%, Edmunds.com said.
"We spend a lot of worthwhile energy teaching younger generations about the virtues of staying safe on the road -- especially when it comes to the dangers of drinking and driving," said Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl, in a prepared statement. "But the baby boomer generation is not heeding the same advice they're giving to their children."
The data analyzed by Edmunds also shows that men are twice as likely to be intoxicated when getting into a fatal accident as women, and that drivers between the ages of 26-35 are more likely to be intoxicated when getting into fatal accidents than any other age group.
Edmunds.com has planned a car safety conference next month, to be held in Washington.
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
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