Motor Vehicle Accident, Injury, and Death Rates by Age of Driver, United States, 2014-2015 - AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (2023)

This research summary provides up-to-date statistics on accident, injury and death rates per kilometer driven in relation to driver age, based on the latest available data from 2014-2015. Drivers aged 16 to 17 remain the most likely to be involved in accidents, injuring themselves and others and killing others in accidents involving them. Drivers aged 80 and older have the highest rate of road fatalities. Drivers aged between 60 and 69 were the safest drivers for most of the measures examined.

methods

The rates per 100 million miles driven of the driver's involvement in all accidents reported to the police, accidents that resulted in at least one reported injury but no fatalities (accident with injuries), and accidents that resulted in at least one fatality (accident with fatal output) were calculated using data from 2014-2015. Data on drivers involved in reported crashes and people injured in crashes were drawn from a representative sample of all reported motor vehicle crashes nationwide (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA], 2016a). Data on fatal accidents and people killed in accidents comes from a database of all fatal motor vehicle accidents nationwide (NHTSA, 2016b). Data on the number of kilometers driven came from a representative sample of all drivers across the country (Triplett et al., 2016).

Persons injured or killed in accidents were assigned to each driver involved in the accident (relevant driver) and classified as the relevant driver, a passenger in the relevant driver's vehicle, or a person outside the driver's vehicle in question, as in a previous report by the AAA Tefft Road Safety Foundation (2012). Injury and fatality rates per mile driven by drivers, their passengers, and others outside the driver's vehicle were calculated by dividing the total number of people injured and killed in accidents involving drivers of each age group by the total number of Miles driven per driver was divided by age group. People injured and killed in multi-vehicle collisions were counted more than once; for example, in a collision between two vehicles in which both drivers are injured, each driver appears in the analysis as an injured subject driver and also as an injured person outside the other subject's vehicle.

Accident involvement and driving exposure were quantified for drivers of cars, pickup trucks, vans, minivans and SUVs only; however, all persons injured and killed in accidents involving at least one of these drivers were included in the injury and fatality counts and rates.

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Results

Motor Vehicle Accident, Injury, and Death Rates by Age of Driver, United States, 2014-2015 - AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (1)

illustration 1shows the accident rate of drivers per 100 million kilometers driven depending on the age of the driver. The accident rate among 16-17 year old drivers was almost double that of 18-19 year old drivers and about 4.5 times higher than that of 30-39, 40-49 and 50 year old drivers . up to 59-year-old drivers (Table 1). Drivers between the ages of 60 and 69 had the lowest accident rate. Accident rates begin to rise after age 70; However, drivers aged 70 to 79 had similar or lower accident rates than drivers aged 30 to 59, and drivers aged 80 and older had higher accident rates than drivers aged 30 to 79 but less than underage drivers. 30. Accident rates involving injuries generally followed a pattern very similar to overall accident participation rates.

Fatal accident rates followed a slightly different pattern. The proportion of fatal accidents per 100 million miles driven was highest among drivers aged 80 and over.

Motor Vehicle Accident, Injury, and Death Rates by Age of Driver, United States, 2014-2015 - AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (2)

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Among drivers under the age of 80, the rate of fatal accidents was highest among 16-17 year old drivers and lowest among 60-69 year old drivers, but the extent to which fatal accident rates decreased with age was slightly lower than accidental injuries and below all accidents reported by the police. Also, the fatal accident rate of 70-79 year old drivers was remarkably high compared to 30-59 year old drivers and comparable to that of 25-29 year old drivers.

Motor Vehicle Accident, Injury, and Death Rates by Age of Driver, United States, 2014-2015 - AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (3)

Figure 2shows kilometer-based rates of injury and death of drivers, rates of injury and death of their occupants, and rates of injury and death of others outside the driver's vehicle, relative to the driver's age. Injury rates generally follow a similar pattern to overall accident participation rates. Death rates of others outside the driver's vehicle also follow a similar pattern, with the biggest exception being the death rates of drivers aged 80 and over. While the death rate of others outside the driver's vehicle, based on mileage, was only about 22% higher than that of drivers aged 30 to 59 and lower than that of drivers under the age of 30, drivers aged 80 and older died more than six times as much common rate among drivers aged 30 to 49 and nearly twice the mortality rate among teenagers.

discussion

Using the most recent available national data on driver involvement in accidents and exposure while driving, this study concludes that by most measures, younger drivers remain by far the greatest risk of driving. The risk decreases rapidly with age between 10 and 20 years, decreases further, albeit more slowly, in the 30s, 40s and 50s, is lowest for drivers in their 60s and increases slightly for drivers in their 70s and older. The overall rate of accident involvement per kilometer driven, the rate of injuries and deaths to others outside the driver's vehicle, and driver injury rates all followed this pattern. The main exception was the driver mortality rate, which was lowest among drivers in their 30s and by far highest among drivers over 80 years of age, who by all other measures examined posed a comparable risk to drivers in their 20s or 30s.

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Given their comparatively low overall involvement in accidents and injuries and deaths to others outside their vehicle, the high fatality rate of older drivers clearly reflects older people's increased risk of dying in an accident, rather than an excessive risk of involvement in accidents. This finding, first reported by Li et al. (2003) in a review of data from 1993-1997 is clearly applicable today.

The most recent AAA Foundation study of accident rates per kilometer driven in relation to driver age (Tefft, 2012) used data from 2008-2009 due to a lack of data on individual exposure to driving between 2009 and the present. Although the accident rate estimates from this study are not exactly comparable to those from the current study due to differences in the data used to estimate driving exposure, some general patterns are clear. While adolescent drivers, young adults aged 20 to 24, and drivers 80 and older had the highest accident rates in both the previous and current studies, accident rates also decreased significantly for these groups; while differences in accident rates for middle-aged drivers, who are by most measures safest, changed little.

The number of drivers involved in reported accidents increased by 4.8% from 2014 to 2015 and the number involved in fatal accidents by 9.0% (Table A1), both much higher than the 2.4% increase in the total number of kilometers traveled in light vehicles over the same period (Triplett et al., 2016). Unfortunately, the sample size of the data used to quantify driving exposure was insufficient to provide reliable estimates of changes in driving exposure from 2014 to 2015 in relation to driver age. So while the study was able to quantify the average accident, injury, and fatality rates relative to driver age for the years 2014-2015 together, it was unable to do so for individual years. Although the increase in the number of accidents is clearly age-dependent, this study could not determine whether the accident rates per kilometer driven increased equally across all age groups from 2014 to 2015 or whether they are part of the population growth be attributed to drivers of different ages.

references

Li G, Braver ER, Chen L-H. (2003). Frailty versus over-involvement in accidents as determinants of high death rates per vehicle-km traveled among older drivers. Analysis and prevention of accidents. 35(2): 227-235.

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National Traffic Safety Authority. (2016a). General Estimating System [data files]. Modified on 09/12/2016. Accessed 09/14/2016. Available at ftp://ftp.nhtsa.dot.gov/GES/. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

National Traffic Safety Authority. (2016b). Death Analysis Reporting System [data files]. Modified on 09/12/2016. Accessed 09/14/2016. Available at ftp://ftp.nhtsa.dot.gov/FARS/. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Text BC. (2012). Traffic Accidents, Injuries, and Fatalities by Driver Age, United States, 1995-2010. Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Triplett T, Santos R, Rosenbloom S (2016). American Driving Survey: 2014-2015. Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

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FAQs

Which age group has highest deaths by road accidents? ›

Yet many people ask, “What age causes the most car accidents?” Statistics show that people ages 25 to 35 are at higher risk for an accident with fatal injuries, according to data from the National Safety Council.

Is there a correlation between age and car accidents? ›

Drivers aged 70+ have higher crash death rates per 1,000 crashes than middle-aged drivers (aged 35-54). Higher crash death rates among this age group are primarily due to increased vulnerability to injury in a crash. Across all age groups, males have substantially higher crash death rates than females.

How many people died in car accidents in 2015 in the US? ›

In 2015, there were an estimated 6,296,000 police-reported traffic crashes, in which 35,092 people were killed and an estimated 2,443,000 people were injured. An average of 96 people died each day in motor vehicle crashes in 2015, one fatality every 15 minutes.

What percentage of deaths among 16 to 19 year olds is related to motor vehicles? ›

Teen driver safety is a topic that affects all drivers on the road. With 7.8% of all fatal crashes occurring among drivers ages 15 to 20, motor vehicle deaths are the second-leading cause of death for this age group.

What type of accident kills most 5 to 14 year olds? ›

Key findings. During 2015–2017, injuries contributed to 563 deaths of children aged 0–14—a rate of 4.1 per 100,000 children. The most common causes of injury death were land transport accidents, accidental drowning and assault.

Which age group has the most motor vehicle accidents quizlet? ›

According to the CDC, the risk of motor vehicle accidents is higher among 16- to 19-year-old drivers than any other age group, because teens are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations.

Which of the following age groups has the highest number of deaths due to motor vehicle and traffic accidents quizlet? ›

In the United States, unintentional injuries are the top source of morbidity and mortality in what population? The age group that had the highest motor vehicle traffic fatality rates in the United States as of the late 2000s was: age 16 to 20 years.

What is the leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2015? ›

What are the leading causes of death? In 2015, the 10 leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional injuries, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide) remained the same as in 2014 (Figure 3).

How many deaths were there in 2015? ›

Results-In 2015, a total of 2,712,630 deaths were reported in the United States. The age-adjusted death rate was 733.1 deaths per 100,000 U.S. standard population, an increase of 1.2% from the 2014 rate. Life expectancy at birth was 78.8 years, a decrease of 0.1 year from 2014.

How many people have died in car accidents in the U.S. 2022? ›

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released its latest projections for traffic fatalities in 2022, estimating that 31,785 people died in traffic crashes in the first nine months of the year. This is a 0.2% decrease as compared to the 31,850 estimated fatalities during the same time in 2021.

What is the leading cause of death for persons ages 10 to 11 and 16 to 22? ›

Accidents (unintentional injuries) are, by far, the leading cause of death among children and teens.

What is the number 1 cause of death for 15 19 year olds? ›

Leading causes of deaths among adolescents aged 15–19 years: Accidents (unintentional injuries) Homicide. Suicide.

Do 16 year olds have the highest crash rate? ›

The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teens ages 16–19 than among any other age group. Teen drivers in this age group have a fatal crash rate almost three times as high as drivers ages 20 and older per mile driven.

What is the most common cause of death in age group 5 14? ›

Injuries (including road traffic injuries and drowning) are the leading causes of death among older children and young adolescents. In fact, injuries rank among the top causes of death and lifelong disability among those aged 5–14 years.

What is the age group that is at higher risk of being killed in a motor vehicle collision? ›

Younger drivers (16 to 24) are at higher risk of being killed in motor vehicle collisions per distance traveled than all other age groups.

Which age group is most at risk of death or injury by fire? ›

Ages 65 and over

The older adult population faces the greatest relative risk of dying in a fire. In 2020, the relative risk of dying in a fire for older adults was 2.5 times higher than that of the general population, as it also was in 2019.

Are motor vehicle crashes the leading cause of death for all people from 4 to 33 years of age? ›

Motor vehicle-related injuries are the single leading cause of death for children, adolescents, and young adults between the ages of 3 to 33 years in the United States, 1 and the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths for all ages.

Which age group is least affected by road accidents and injuries? ›

Children under five years of age, and in particular infants under 1 year, being especially vulnerable to other diseases and conditions, have the lowest ranking for road traffic deaths. On the basis of your reading and understanding of the above passage, answer the following: Q.

Which age group has had the highest percentage of traffic fatalities or injuries related to a BAC level of 0.8 or higher? ›

In 2020, 29% of young drivers (ages 15-20) involved in fatal crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of . 01 g/dL or higher; 82% of those young drivers who had alcohol in their systems had BACs of . 08 g/dL or higher.

What is the leading cause of death among age groups 15 to 24? ›

Injuries (including road traffic injuries and drowning), violence, self-harm, infectious diseases such as respiratory infections and maternal conditions (complications for pregnancy) are leading causes of death among adolescents and young adults.

What is the third leading cause of death among the 15 24 age group? ›

"Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year-olds, following unintended injuries and homicide. While suicides account for approximately 1.4 percent of all deaths in the United States annually, they comprise 12 percent of deaths among this age group.

What is the number one cause of death among persons age 3 to 33? ›

Unintentional injury accounted for the greatest number of deaths among residents 1–34 years of age.

What was the leading cause of death in 2015 in the US for people age 15 24? ›

Unintentional Injury

What are the 3 top causes of death for adults in the US According to the CDC? ›

More data: query tools
  • Cerebrovascular Disease or Stroke.
  • Cholesterol.
  • Heart Disease.
  • Hypertension.

What is age specific death rate? ›

An age-specific mortality rate is a mortality rate limited to a particular age group. The numerator is the number of deaths in that age group; the denominator is the number of persons in that age group in the population.

How many people died in the US in 2014? ›

NOTES: A total of 2,626,418 resident deaths were registered in the United States in 2014. The 10 leading causes accounted for 73.8% of all deaths in the United States in 2014.

What was the number one cause of death in the world in 2015? ›

Results-In 2015, the 10 leading causes of death were, in rank order: Diseases of heart; Malignant neoplasms; Chronic lower respiratory diseases; Accidents (unintentional injuries); Cerebrovascular diseases; Alzheimer's disease; Diabetes mellitus; Influenza and pneumonia; Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis; and ...

How many people have died in road accidents in 2022? ›

This means that approximately 595 pedestrians died over the festive period. The statistics are worse in the Western Cape and Gauteng, where pedestrian deaths contributed to 54% of all road fatalities.
...
More than 1,400 people died on South Africa's roads over the festive season.
ProvinceGauteng
2021/22 deaths275
2022/23 deaths290
Y-O-Y change+5.5%
8 more columns
Jan 17, 2023

How many deaths in the U.S. from car accidents this year? ›

A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for 2021 shows that an estimated 42,915 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide.

How many car deaths in the U.S. each year? ›

More than 46,000 people die in car crashes each year, according to Annual United States Road Crash Statistics (ASIRT). The U.S. traffic fatality rate is 12.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

What is the second leading cause of death in youth ages 10-14? ›

Suicide affects all ages.

Suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 25-34.

What are the most common causes of death in the US from ages 12 18? ›

CharacteristicPercentage of all death causes
Unintentional injuries34.5%
Intentional self-harm (suicide)21.5%
Assault (homicide)18.3%
Cancer (malignant neoplasms)5.7%
7 more rows
Oct 25, 2021

What are the top three causes of death among youth ages 12 19? ›

This represents an average of 16,375 deaths per year for this group. Teenage mortality is an important public health issue because the majority of deaths among teenagers are caused by external causes of injury such as accidents, homicide, and suicide. These causes of death are, by definition, preventable.

What age group has the highest mortality rate? ›

Age-specific rates increased 10.1% for age group 1–4 (from 22.7 deaths per 100,000 population in 2020 to 25.0 in 2021), 4.4% for 5–14 (13.7 to 14.3), 5.6% for 15–24 (84.2 to 88.9), 13.4% for 25–34 (159.5 to 180.8), and 16.1% for 35–44 (248.0 to 287.9).

What are the odds of a 16 year old being involved in a vehicle crash? ›

Teen traffic fatalities

About 3,000 teens die every year in traffic accidents, and approximately 20 percent of 16 year-olds will be involved in an accident in their first year of driving.

What is the #1 cause of teenage deaths? ›

The Leading Cause Of Death In Teens: Accidents

Over 30% of teenage and child deaths result from unintentional injury. However, this statistic may be further separated and refined into subcategories. Among accidents, the subcategories may include: Motor vehicle accidents.

What age drivers have the most accidents? ›

Increased Car Accident Risk in Younger Drivers

The most significant reasons for this are their inexperience and young age. Specifically, the younger the driver, the more likely they are to cause a car crash. Notably, 16 and 17-year-old drivers have a high risk of causing car accidents.

What age group has a higher fatality rate than 16 17 year olds? ›

In the United States, teenagers drive less than all but the oldest people, but their numbers of crashes and crash deaths are disproportionately high. The fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16-19 year-olds is nearly 3 times the rate for drivers ages 20 and over. Risk is highest at ages 16-17.

What is the percentage of people between the ages of 15 to 20 killed in motor vehicle crashes? ›

Teen driver safety is a topic that affects all drivers on the road. With 7.8% of all fatal crashes occurring among drivers ages 15 to 20, motor vehicle deaths are the second-leading cause of death for this age group.

How many car deaths in the US each year? ›

More than 46,000 people die in car crashes each year, according to Annual United States Road Crash Statistics (ASIRT). The U.S. traffic fatality rate is 12.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

How many automobile deaths in the US each year? ›

Fatality Facts 2020Yearly snapshot

A total of 38,824 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020. The U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent estimate of the annual economic cost of crashes is $340 billion.

How many people died from car accidents in the US in 2016? ›

In 2016 there were 37,461 people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Compared to 2015, this was a 5.6-percent increase in the number of fatalities.

What year had the most car deaths? ›

Historical Fatality Trends
  • The population motor-vehicle death rate reached its peak in 1937 with 30.8 deaths per 100,000 population. ...
  • In 1923, the first year miles driven was estimated, the motor-vehicle death rate was 18.65 deaths for every 100 million miles driven.

What is the number one cause of death in a car? ›

Common injuries that cause death in car accidents include traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, broken ribs, or spinal cord injuries. These types of damages typically occur due to head-on collisions, driver- or passenger-side impacts, or rollovers caused by driver negligence or reckless behavior.

What vehicle has the highest death rate? ›

The 25 Vehicles That Have Been Involved in the Most Fatal Car Accidents
RankCarTotal
1Chevrolet Silverado8,777
2Ford F-1507,502
3Honda Accord5,368
4Toyota Camry5,023
21 more rows

What are the statistics of dying in a car crash? ›

it is estimated that there are about 13.5 million car crashes each year. Out of this number, about 3.2 million people need medical assistance because of injuries sustained from the collision. Around 36,000 of these crashes annually result in at least one death.

How many deaths per year are caused by automobiles? ›

Each year, 1.35 million people are killed on roadways around the world. Every day, almost 3,700 people are killed globally in crashes involving cars, buses, motorcycles, bicycles, trucks, or pedestrians.

What are the top 3 causes of car accidents in America? ›

Avoid These Top Causes of Traffic Accidents:
  • DISTRACTED DRIVING. Research at the American Automobile Association's Traffic Safety Division says that between 25-50% of all motor car accidents are caused by distracted driving. ...
  • DRUNK DRIVING. ...
  • SPEEDING. ...
  • AGGRESSIVE DRIVING. ...
  • INCLEMENT WEATHER.

What is the leading cause of death for people aged 16 to 24? ›

Injuries (including road traffic injuries and drowning), violence, self-harm, infectious diseases such as respiratory infections and maternal conditions (complications for pregnancy) are leading causes of death among adolescents and young adults.

How many people got injured and died due to distracted driving in 2016? ›

Distraction was reported for 6 percent (3,210 of 51,914) of the drivers involved in fatal crashes. In these distraction-affected crashes, 3,450 fatalities (9% of overall fatalities) occurred. Table 1 provides information on crashes, drivers, and fatalities involved in fatal distraction-affected crashes in 2016.

How many motor accidents in the US are reported by police 2016? ›

In 2016, there were an estimated 7,277,000 police-reported motor vehicle crashes in the United States, resulting in 37,461 fatalities and 3,144,000 people injured.

How many alcohol crashes are there in the US in 2016? ›

Fatalities in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes increased by 1.7 percent (10,320 to 10,497 fatalities) from 2015 to 2016. Alcohol- impaired-driving fatalities in the past 10 years have declined by 20 percent from 13,041 in 2007 to 10,497 in 2016.

Who causes the most car accidents statistics? ›

Who Causes More Accidents? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that men cause an average of 6.1 million accidents per year in the US, and women cause 4.4 million accidents per year. Males do 62% of the driving, but only cause 58% of the accidents.

Are cars safer now than 40 years ago? ›

The average vehicle on the road in 2012 would have an estimated 56% lower fatality risk for its occupants than the average vehicle on the road in the late 1950s. NHTSA estimates that vehicle safety developments helped raise the annual number of lives saved from 115 in 1960 to 27,621 in 2012.

What is the death rate of cars? ›

There were 35,766 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2020 in which 38,824 deaths occurred. This resulted in 11.7 deaths per 100,000 people and 1.34 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. The fatality rate per 100,000 people ranged from 4.9 in Massachusetts to 25.4 in Mississippi.

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