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How Does One’s Age Affect Car Accident Risk?

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on August 30, 2023

Older woman behind the wheel adjusting her glasses.

Statistically speaking, drivers in certain age groups are more likely to be involved in accidents than others. Teen drivers and older adult drivers have a higher risk of a crash, but middle-aged drivers also have certain risk factors. It is important to understand the connection between age and car accidents to help keep yourself and your family safe.

Teen Drivers

The fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16 to 19-year-olds is nearly three times the rate for drivers ages 20 and older, as reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The riskiest age for driving is 16 to 17. Motor vehicle crashes were a leading cause of death among U.S. teenagers ages 13 to 19 in 2020, accounting for 2,730 fatalities.

Teen drivers lack experience, skills, and maturity. They are more likely to speed, take chances, make mistakes, and become distracted behind the wheel of a car. Risk factors for teen drivers include the following, as stated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

To help reduce the risk of a potentially fatal crash, NHTSA advises parents of teen drivers to set a good example, establish ground rules in keeping with state graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws, talk to teens about the dangers of alcohol and drug use, and take an active role in a teen’s driver education.

Middle Aged Drivers

Drivers in their 40s and 50s have some of the lowest accident rates of all age groups for both injury and fatal crashes, as reported by the AAA Foundation. Researchers found the overall crash rate per 100 million miles driven was 314 for ages 40 through 49 and 315 for ages 50 through 59.

As a comparison, the rate for 16 to 17-year-olds is 1,432. Risk factors for middle-aged drivers include stress and distractions. Drivers in their 40s and 50s should keep their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel, and their attention on driving to reduce the risk of a wreck.

Senior Drivers

There are more drivers over the age of 65 in the U.S. now than ever before. With aging, the risk of being injured or killed in a traffic crash increases. Drivers 70 and older have higher crash death rates than middle-aged drivers due to their increased vulnerability to injury, as stated by CDC. Approximately 7,500 older adults were killed in traffic crashes, and nearly 200,000 were treated in emergency rooms for crash injuries in 2020.

Age-related challenges affecting vision and physical and cognitive function can contribute to accidents among older drivers. Certain diseases and medications can also impair the driving ability of older adults. To stay safe on the road, senior drivers should:

  • Always wear a seat belt.
  • Drive during daylight hours in good weather when conditions are the safest.
  • Never drink and drive.

How Can You Reduce the Risk of an Age-Related Car Accident?

In evaluating driving experience and skill, you must balance age-related factors with overall driving skill and record. For any age group, it is essential to encourage safe driving habits. To set a good example, follow the rules of the road, remain attentive to your driving, and never operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Arizona Lawyers That Will Stand by Your Side After a Car Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another, The Husband & Wife Law Team is here to offer the trusted legal support you need. Our experienced Phoenix car accident lawyers have the knowledge and resources to investigate your accident, determine liability, and negotiate with insurance companies for the compensation you deserve.

The Husband & Wife Law Team is a Better Business Bureau “A+” rated law firm, with Mark and Alexis Breyer having recently been named among the top injury lawyers in the Phoenix Valley by North Valley Magazine. We always have time for our clients and are dedicated to providing compassionate and skilled legal counsel.

Reach out to us at (602) 457-6222 to schedule a free initial consultation. Let’s see how we can help.

Posted in: Auto Accident

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