Grannies vs Teens: Who is Scarier on the Road?
You’ve seen them . . . reckless teen drivers who are on their cell phones and shooting past other cars on the highway, having no respect for others on the road.
You have also seen the grannie, hunched over her steering wheel, with the turn signal flashing for miles on end while going 20 miles under the speed limit.
It has been said that both types of drivers are dangerous on the road. In fact, there has been talk in some states of raising the minimum driving age to 18. There has also been talk about requiring those over a certain age to take a driving test every year. While it may not be true for everyone, it can certainly be said that many individuals in both groups are less than ideal drivers.
But who is scarier on the road? Who poses the most threat to those who drive along side them? The answer may not be that clear.
The Age of Citizens in the United States
Some states allow those 15 years and older to hold a learner’s permit. Many times, by the time those citizens are 16 years old, they are eligible to obtain a driver’s license. There are a little more than 20 million 15 year olds in the US, and a few more 20 year olds.
In contrast, there are a little more than 10 million 70 year olds in the United States, just about 10 million people that are 75 years old, and close to one million that are 100. It is expected, however, that the amount of those 70+ will triple in just twenty years.
A significant portion of these citizens hold driver’s licenses. With millions of potential drivers on the road, it is an unfortunate likelihood that some of their vehicles will become involved in an accident.
That is when the trouble occurs.
The Role of Age in Fatal Accidents
The worst thing that could happen on the road is a fatal accident. Cars are dangerous weapons and should be treated as such. Unfortunately, in some cases, people don’t use the proper caution when handling such a dangerous vehicle. In other cases, the car just gets out of their control. Age and experience may be the deciding factor in which of these issues cause fatal accidents.
Per every 100,000 licensed drivers, there are 69.5 drivers between the ages of 15-20 that are involved in a fatal accident. Contrast that to 22.1 drivers 70 years and above.
But before we point the finger at teenagers and order them to get off the road, something else should be noted. Of those drivers that were involved with a fatal crash, those 80 years and over were more than four times as likely to be at fault than not. Those under twenty were only more than two times as likely.
What Causes Different Age Groups to Crash
So what causes these different groups to become involved in fatal crashes? It turns out age does make the difference. The younger set tends to be more reckless while the older set tends to be less attentive.
For example, when involved in a fatal crash, 25% of teens had a high blood alcohol level, and 58% of them weren’t wearing seatbelts.
When driving, teens are more likely to:
Out of the elderly involved in a fatal crash, 28% of them made a left turn without seeing the oncoming vehicle. In addition, 25% of fatal crashes occurred without the interference of another vehicle, and 82% of them occurred in the daytime. Among the elderly involved in a fatal crash, 70% of them were wearing seatbelts.
When driving, the elderly are more likely to:
It seems clear, then, that there are different factors affecting drivers of different ages.
The risks involved with driving a car change with age and experience. The younger drivers tend to drive as if nothing can hurt them, while older drivers may have a physical impairment that affects their driving. In either case, the result can be devastating.
So, what do you think? Who is scarier on the road?