Some people like to blame teens, while others point the finger at the elderly, but the fact is that car accidents happen among all age demographics for a wide variety of reasons. There’s plenty of research into what causes car crashes, but an examination of 2017 from the AAA Foundation highlights how frequently these wrecks occur within each age group.
Understanding the Numbers
To compile this list, AAA relied on police-reported incidents of both accident involving injury and those involving death. This information was gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To determine the rate at which accidents took place, AAA used the rate per 100 million miles driven model.
This model is often used in place of its population alternative to give an accurate rate of incidents as people drive. To put it in perspective, imagine that Utah has 5,000 drivers. Over the course of all 5,000 drivers traveling 100 million miles collectively, how many accidents occurred? All vehicles are considered, and multi-injury or fatality incidents see each individual counted separately.
From there, AAA was able to take age information about those accidents and begin creating demographic groups. The ages range from 16, when most states allow teens to earn their license, all the way to 80 and above. The age groups break down as follows:
For overall crashes, younger drivers are the most likely to experience an accident. This is especially true for the newest drivers or those ages 16 and 17. There’s a sharp decline for those ages 18 and 19, with rates continually declining into the 60-69 range. From 70 to 80+, a small increase is present that exceeds the rates for the 30-39 group.
From here, the findings were separated into crashes just involving injury and those involving a fatality. The trend is nearly identical for injuries, though they occur within less intervals of 100 million miles driven. Ages 16-29 see the highest rates, and the 70-80+ age range sees an uptick once again. In line with all accidents, the 60-69 age range sees the least injuries when a wreck occurs.
Fatal crashes tell a lightly different story. While the same arcing trend is present, the numbers are drastically different. Ages 60-69 remain the safest, but the increase in fatalities from age 70 onward is severe. The 80+ group sees an almost identical number of fatalities as the 16-17 group. Once again, the intervals of 100 million miles travelled is lessened, showing that fatal crashes are highly prevalent.
By the Numbers
While the newest drivers on the road see alarmingly high numbers of accidents, injuries, and deaths, the numbers for other age groups are still alarming. Legal professionals like Attorney Dan Rose handle cases within all age ranges, making no one immune from these tragic incidents.
The most alarming statistic was the rate at which the youngest drivers and those 80 or older experience fatalities. The 16-17 group saw a rate of 3.75 per 100 million miles driven, while the older group saw a rate of 3.85. While the 60-69 group sees the lowest rates across the board, they’re not far off from the higher rates of the 50-59 group or the 40-49 age range.
These statistics can help experts and safety organization identify what may be causing accidents and work to create measures that protect all drivers on the road. For everyone else, they should serve a shocking reminder to follow the laws of the road, practice safe driving, and remain alert at all times.