Auto Accidents

Do teenagers or elderly drivers cause more accidents?


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By far the most dangerous cohort on the road today is the new driver between the ages of 16 and 19. A state of Wisconsin report showed that in 2002 only six percent of all licensed drivers were between the ages of 16 and 19, yet they accounted for 16 percent of all drivers in crashes, about four times the accident rate of people older than 65. Drivers between the ages of 45 and 64 had a slightly higher accident rate than the over-65 cohort. Older drivers have higher rates of fatal crashes, based on miles driven, than any other group except young drivers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The high death rate is due in large part to their frailty. Older people are less likely to survive an injury than younger people. By 2030 people age 65 and older are expected to represent 25 percent of the driving population and 25 percent of fatal crash involvements. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 28 million, or 15 percent, of licensed drivers were age 65 and older in the United States in 2004 (latest data available). NHTSA says 6,512 people age 65 and older were killed in traffic crashes. This represents 15 percent of all Americans killed on the road. There are some fantastic graphs, statisitics by state, and more information at: