Getting on the road means taking on a lot of serious risks. You can get involved in an accident with another driver at any moment, and your safety is dependent on how skilled they are. You have no control over this.

As such, it’s important to understand whom you share the road with. This can help you see why it’s wise to be a defensive driver, anticipating the mistakes that you know others are going to make. And, judging by the numbers, it’s clear that one of the biggest risks is sharing the road with young drivers.

Age and crash statistics 

To begin with, the III provides graphs of the number of fatal accidents per 100,000 people, dividing it by age groups. This highest fatal crash rate for any age group belongs to those between 20 and 24 years old. It comes in right around 18 fatalities for every 100,000 people of this age.

The 16 to 19 group is still fairly high, right around 13 fatalities per 100,000 people, though it is lower than those noted above. After peaking, the fatality rate begins to fall until the elderly push it back up again.

What do these numbers tell us?

There are many ways to interpret these numbers. One interpretation is that brand new drivers may focus on the road a bit more since it’s all so new and they know they have skills to develop. By 20, drivers may wrongly assume they have it all figured out and get a bit more lax in their focus, leading to an increase in serious accidents.

You also have to consider time spent behind the wheel. A 24-year-old with a job likely drives far more than a 16-year-old high school student.

Finally, the rise in the fatality rate for the elderly may not be only about their ability to drive. It’s also about frailty. As people age, they may simply be more likely to pass away in an accident that a 35-year-old driver would have survived.

After a crash

If you get involved in an accident with a young driver — or a driver of any age — and you suffer serious injuries, be sure you know what legal options you have after the crash.

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