The impact of Medicare eligibility on driving performance
From its introduction to the American public in 1966, Medicare has been influential in providing free to low cost health insurance for many, specifically people over the age of 65. Since all Americans eligible for Social Security are eligible for Medicare at age 65, many people may consider deferring crucial treatments to once they are covered by the public insurance program. Vision problems are common among older adults. Many conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma are treatable and covered by Medicare. These conditions increase the likelihood of the individual to be in a motor vehicle accident. Using a regression discontinuity approach with cutoff value 65, the relationship between age and crash frequency is explored. Other factors are taken onto consideration, such as accidents that result in injuries or deaths, light and weather conditions, and if the driver already has a known visual impairment. Using a linear model, none of the explored relationships resulted in a significant result. While no relationship was discovered from this study, it is possible that with more information a change in the results may occur.