Drivers of all ages are involved in serious auto wrecks, but what age group causes the most Bakersfield car accidents? According to data from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and other sources, younger drivers are responsible for car accidents at disproportionately high rates.
Sources disagree as to whether teen drivers or drivers in their early 20s hold the dubious distinction of being responsible for most car accidents. For example, AutoInsurance.org reports that, “[while] teen drivers . . . are typically classified by insurance providers as high risk, a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed millennials to be even more dangerous than the . . . newest drivers, thanks to texting behind the wheel, speeding, and running red lights.” However, data from the NHTSA show that teen drivers have a slightly higher rate of involvement in fatal car accidents than drivers between the ages of 21 and 24.
Experienced car accident lawyer Mickey Fine has helped clients of all ages throughout Bakersfield. He knows the devastation caused by severe crashes, and he is committed to helping his clients recover the full and fair compensation to which they are entitled under California law.
Here are some more age-related statistics for car accidents in Bakersfield, throughout California, and nationwide:
Drivers in Their 20s and 30s are Most Likely to Cause DUI Accidents
The California OTS only provides age-related data on a local level in relation to DUI accidents. According to the California OTS, drivers in their 20s and 30s are responsible for the largest percentage of these accidents in Bakersfield and the rest of Kern County. In 2018 (the latest year for which data are available), drivers between the ages of 21 and 34 caused 227 DUI accidents resulting in injury or death, while drivers under the age of 21 were responsible for just 34 injury-involved and fatal DUI accidents.
CHP: Drivers in Their 20s Cause The Most Car Accidents
Data from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) indicate that drivers in their 20s cause the most car accidents. In fact, the CHP’s data suggest that drivers in their 20s in California cause serious and fatal collisions at more than twice the rate of teen drivers:
- Drivers Age 15 to 19 – 6.1 percent of all injury-involved accidents and 5.4 percent of all fatal car accidents.
- Drivers Age 20 to 24 – 13.6 percent of all injury-involved accidents and 14.1 percent of all fatal car accidents.
- Drivers Age 25 to 29 – 12.8 percent of all injury-involved accidents and 12.9 percent of all fatal car accidents.
After age 29, the percentage of accidents per age group (in five-year increments) drops consistently. While national statistics indicate that elderly drivers present a higher risk than drivers in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, this is not the case in California according to the CHP.
NHTSA: Teen Drivers Have the Highest Rate of Involvement in Fatal Car Accidents
In contrast to the CHP’s data, data from the NHTSA indicate that teen drivers have the highest rate of involvement in fatal car accidents. While drivers ages 21 to 24 have an involvement rate of 32.27, drivers ages 16 to 20 have an involvement rate of 32.45. Across all age groups, the NHTSA reports that male drivers are significantly more likely to cause car accidents than female drivers. This disparity is highest in the 21 to 24 age group (a 46.63 involvement rate for males versus a 17.37 involvement rate for females).
California OTS: Teen Driving Deaths are On the Decline
Notably, the California OTS reports that teen driving deaths are on the decline. This includes both teen driver fatalities and deaths caused by teen drivers. According to the California OTS:
- “Teen motor vehicle fatalities (age 16-19) decreased 25.2% from 219 in 2018 to 164 in 2019.”
- “Teen Driver fatalities (age 16-19) decreased 12.7% from 95 in 2018 to 83 in 2019.”
In California, all drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles safely at all times. When a driver makes a bad decision or other mistake that leads to an accident, that driver is liable for the consequences. California law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance, and negligent drivers’ insurance policies will cover accident victims’ and families’ losses in most cases.
Age, young or old, is not an excuse for putting others in harm’s way. If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident involving a teen driver, a driver in their 20s, or a driver of any other age, you can – and should – hire a lawyer to help you recover just compensation.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, Bakersfield car accident lawyer Mickey Fine wants to hear your story. Call 661-333-3333 today for a free initial consultation. Our firm handles car accident cases on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you don’t owe any attorneys fees unless we achieve a favorable outcome in your case.