It’s a common misperception that elderly people are the most dangerous drivers.
Did you know that teenagers have two to three times more accidents than drivers in their 70s and early 80s?
Statistically, 80-year-old drivers are better risks than teenagers, according to the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Sometimes teenagers feel picked on (and at times, rightly so!), and some might think the IIHS statistics are a condemnation of teenagers as people. Not so. The huge, unavoidable factor with new drivers is inexperience. It’s not a matter of teens not wanting to drive safely. The challenge is, skill can come only with experience. And experience comes only from practice.
So, how do teenagers' crash rates compare with other drivers? IIHS research tells us.
Teenage drivers have high rates of both fatal and nonfatal crashes compared with adult drivers. Teens drive less than all but the oldest people, but their crashes and crash deaths are disproportionately high.
Based on crashes of all severities, the crash rate per mile driven for ages 16-19 is about three times the risk for drivers 20 and older. Risk is highest at age 16: the crash rate per miles driven is three times as high for 16-year-olds as it is for drivers age 18-19.
Learn more about teen driving from IIHS.