According to conventional wisdom, young and elderly drivers are most likely to have the most car accidents and other types of accidents. But which age groups really have the most accidents?
The data reveals some interesting facts that many are not aware of. According to the NHTSA, per capita, the highest number of auto fatalities occur for people between 21 and 24 years old. This group, as well as the group 16-20, are at highest risk for car accident injuries.
The NHTSA data also show that women drivers have a lower death rate than men, but men had a lower rate of injury than women. More facts to be aware of:
- Teenagers are involved in the most crashes in very few states.
- 35- to 39-year-olds have the most accidents in CA, FL, GA, NC and TX.
- In no states are drivers that are 60 or older the deadliest drivers.
- Drivers that are 20 to 24 get in the most fatal accidents in at least 36 states.
ARE MIDDLE-AGED DRIVERS SAFER?
People in their 30s and 40s are between the ages of poorer judgment (being young) and reduced mental and physical sharpness (the elderly), so this group generally has fewer accidents than others. However, these are mere generalities; there are great and bad drivers in all ages. But it is worth remembering that younger drivers do not have as much experience, do take more risks, and are more likely to drive drunk.
These factors reverse as the person ages. Their driving experience grows, they take fewer risks and the tendency to drive drunk is less. But when a person gets beyond middle age, there are new risks. Older drivers react slower in emergencies, have worse eyesight, and may have challenges with their spatial judgment.
Interestingly, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety watches crash data and has found that crash claims are highest among the youngest and older drivers, and lowest for drivers from 50 to 60. That organization also notes that the higher crash rate per mile for senior citizens could be explained by the fact that they drive more in town than on the highway. Highway drivers have a lower accident rate per mile in most cases.
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