• Jul 23, 2007

For drivers between the ages of 16 and 24, the price of insurance can seem more than a little unfair. While $125 per month could insure a luxury vehicle for someone in their 30s, a 16 year-old couldn't get such a rate for a Pinto. There's a very simple reason for this disparity; young motorists are by far the most dangerous drivers on the road. A study by the Rand Corporations shows that while 13-percent of all drivers are between the ages of 16 and 24, 43-percent of all accidents come from that age group. It's a good thing everybody seems to be on the phone while driving, it may not hurt as much when you don't see that pimped out Neon coming.

While young drivers are an accident waiting to happen, those over the age of 65 are much safer than their unearned reputation may suggest. Senior citizens make up 15-percent of all drivers, but only cause 7-percent of the total accidents. Maybe it's because people are a little more careful when they see a Crown Victoria on the road, but that AARP discount appears to be well-deserved anyway. Next time you're on the freeway and you see a Buick Roadmaster in the right lane, get behind it, it's probably one of the safest places on the road.

[Source: Reuters]



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  • 36 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Doesn't surprise me. I am 22. Only been driving six years. And I KNOW I am not as experienced as a 40 year old. And it amazes me listening to kids who are 16 or 17 talking about how they are amazing drivers and have full control over their vehicle...while they are talking on their phone, eating a double cheeseburger, messing around with their friends, etc. At the same time, their vehicle has about six dents and a smashed out headlamp.

      But I have can't count how many times (in the past week) I have been almost rearended or t-boned by a teenager. And it scares me when they go screaming by 15 mph over the limit, swirving in and out of traffic in mommy and daddy's car or SUV.

      And what really grinds my gears are the kids who let mommy and daddy buy them a $25k car and treat it like shit. My Buick (yes, I drive a Buick...Eff off!) was a $2k car and I treat it like it's a freakin RR Phantom. I clean it, wash and wax it (once a week) and just plain baby the thing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @ Mr Oak:

      "Parents should NOT be allowed to put their kids on their insurance policies. Let the little jerks buy and maintain their own."

      So you think I (20 years old... 4 years with a license... no accidents... no tickets.) and all other young people should deal with high insurance rates and waste our hard earner minimum wage job money on insurance rather than, say, college? Because I sure as hell don't have enough as is and if my rates were higher I would be completely screwed.

      One thing that seems to have been forgotten is that young drivers have had drivers ed more recently... therefore we know the little things. I know that 25 is the speed limit in a unmarked residential area (in CA), not 50 like many soccer moms and older people would like to believe. I also know its illegal to change lanes in an intersection, not to enter an intersection if there isn't room for my car on the opposite side, and understand the importance of a blinker, a bunch of things the general public seem to have forgotten.

      I understand that this is all based on stats but these stats lack a lot of information. Not only are alcohol stats forgotten but also the number of hours on the road. Hours driven is crucial information because 16-24 year olds are involved in 6 times the amount of accidents but it is completely possible that they spend 6 times the amount of time on the road.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think it's more than likely because they don't crack 20, usually don't spend as much time on the roads, and when they do, it's usually not on the highway.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Or a Toyota or a Lexus, average Toyota drivers are about 55 and older, and average Lexus drivers are 65 and older. Don't believe me? Just look next time when you pass a Toyota or a Lexus.
      • 7 Years Ago
      take alcohol out of the formula and see where things line up...
      • 7 Years Ago
      LOL! I drive a Chevy Caprice. Beautiful old peoples car, high power, rear wheel drive. I have four speeding tickets in the four years I've had the car. I love it! And you say it's safe...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I absolutely HATE the old cottagers that come up during the summer months, clogging up a two lane highway doing 50-60 kmph in an 80 zone when there is no car in front of them is frustrating at best
      • 7 Years Ago
      A few years ago I was driving down the road at about 40 mph, no lights or stop signs anywhere in sight, when an old couple in an Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight pulled out of a parking lot and t-boned me. I saw it coming at the last moment and tried to swerve, but Land Rover Defenders aren't exactly go-karts. Impact sent me spinning across the road. No idea how I didn't go into a roll.

      In my experience, young and old are both terrible drivers, as are the majority of people in the middle range. It's not age, it's attention to the task at hand, it's being aware of your surroundings, knowing who's where. It's driving in such a way that other people don't have to react to you. This includes timing your merges, yielding, not getting over in front of a car that's going faster than you, not pulling blindly out of parking lots, etc.

      A lot of people seem to lack this basic awareness. The distractions like cell phones, drinks, iPods, they're only symptoms. There's a lack of respect for the destructive power of a 4,000 lb chunk of steel hurtling down the road at 60 mph and, more importantly, a lack of respect for other people.

      The safest place on the road is the middle lane, with no other cars within 500 yards.
      • 7 Years Ago
      the younger the driver, the worse the driver.

      my son and daughter flipped the Barbie car just this weekend..did the "reverse to fast forward" move going up a hill and rolled it backwards... never seen a old gent on 'Rascal' do that now have ya?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Here in Germany we have a sick system that is based on the region where a car is insured and something we call "type classes". In fully comprehensive coverage "type classes" make some sense, because they reflect the cost to repair some typical accidents. For motor vehicle third party liability insurance the type class just represents how many hoons have the same car you have. If many hoons wreck the same type of car, your insurance is higher. Even worse is the system of regional classes: When moving to an area with lots of hoons it is assumed that you are going hoon, too. So you have to pay higher insurance rates than before.
      • 7 Years Ago
      wait.. am i the only one curious about that stat?
      they make up 15% of the drivers on the road, yet cause 7 percent of the accidents?
      I read that as HALF of them are causing accidents.. a frightningly high number?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't know about you lot over there in America, but in the UK it has been none for a while that old people are as dangerous as young people on the road.

      I relevant of what you are doing (texting, calling etc which is all illegal over here anyway) old people have slower reactions, and a poorer understanding of traffic rules.

      Young people are just stupid, I'm 19 and the amount of my friends I hear saying, 'My car got up to 100 on that country road the other day!' is just silly.
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