Give Me Your Age And I'll Tell You How You Drive.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) does a great job collecting and analyzing Wisconsin motor vehicle accident statistics. The latest 2009 Wisconsin Traffic Crash Facts report shows how fatal and total crash rates evolve by age and age group.

Not surprisingly, in Wisconsin as in the country at large, driving careers start poorly. A very high proportion of licensed teenage drivers get involved in a crash, namely:

  • 12.9% of licensed drivers aged 16.
  • 10.3% of licensed drivers aged 17.
  • 10% of drivers aged 18.

After the age of 19, the rate of involvement in crashes starts dropping from 8.5% for drivers aged 19 to 5.8% of drivers aged 24.

The number of drivers in crashes compared to the number of licensed drivers by age group continues to go down, from 4.7% for the 25-34 age group to 2.2% for the 65-74 age group.

The above figures reflect the probability of getting involved in a crash, whether the crash results in death, injuries only or property damage only. Interestingly, in the older age groups (75 years and more), even if the rate of involvement in all crashes goes down, involvement in fatal crashes goes back up with age.

How should we correctly read these figures?

As for all statistics, hasty conclusions can be wrong or missing other elements that influence the figures. In this case, it is not just the number of people in crashes compared to the number of licensed drivers per age group. What determines the probability of getting involved in a car, truck or motorcycle crash is also the frequency of driving or the mileage traveled per age group.

It is obvious that people aged between 35 and 50 will be driving far more than teenage drivers or older people. One can draw two conclusions from this:

  1. Teenage driver crash rates are even worse than the statistics show: this is because teenagers do not drive nearly as much as mature drivers.
  2. The crash rate of older drivers is only lower because older drivers drive much less.

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Hupy and Abraham have offices throughout Wisconsin (Milwaukee, Madison, Appleton, Green Bay, Wausau), Iowa (Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Quad Cities in Iowa), and Illinois (Gurnee, Rockford, Bloomington). If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle crash, contact the auto accident attorneys at Hupy and Abraham for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation today toll-free at 800-800-5678 or send us an e-mail with your questions.