FARS 2008 & Young Drivers
Young Drivers Involved in 18,000 of 42,000 Fatal Traffic Deaths Each Year
About 50% of the fatal accidents involving young drivers caused the death of another driver, for a total of 27,000 traffic fatalities each year which would be prevented if drivers licenses were not issued until age 23. This would cause a 64% decrease in traffic fatalities to a rate equivalent to Japan, Switzerland, and Germany.
What you always see on the news is that young drivers between the ages of 16 to 24 are seven times as likely to be in an alcohol-involved fatal accident than drivers between the age of 55 to 63. What you will not seen in the news is that young drivers are also two to 2 to 2 1/2 TIMES as likely as the older drivers to be in all fatal accidents, drinking or not. You will also not see that young drivers are 12 times as likely to be involved in a non-alcohol-related fatal crash as in an alcohol-related one, nor that older drivers are FIFTEEN times as likely. This partially explains the following observation from NHTSA itself that other factors which cause young drivers to be in a disproportionate number of accidents make their drinking and driving accidents pale by comparison:
Connolly, Kimball, and Moulton (1989) computed risk factors as a function of several variables using crash data from FARS (1976-1981) and non-crash data from the 1973 National Roadside Breathtesting Survey conducted by The University of Michigan. They used logistic regression analysis to examine the contributions of various factors to the relative risk of a fatal crash and found that even after controlling for BAC, youth alone increased the risk of a fatal crash.
These findings suggest that impairment alone may not be behind the higher risk of alcohol-related crashes for young drivers. A proclivity toward problem behavior in general and, possibly, a lower perception of the increased impairment and crash risk due to drinking may exacerbate the impairing effects of alcohol on driving for this group.
Even if you could completely eliminate the alcohol-related fatal accidents by these youth, they would STILL be in 2 to 2 1/2 TIMES as many accidents as older drivers.
It makes no sense to continue to punish them with punitive DWI laws, when these laws themselves might be what drives them to both drink AND drive dangerously.
"Perhaps you'd like to revoke women's driving licenses and institute a system similar to Saudi Arabia where women aren't allowed to drive and by law must ride with a male relative. Whatever. "
To answer your question directly, it's ALL young drivers, male and female, who should not be allowed to drive until age 23. This would save about 18 THOUSAND of THEIR lives each year, plus another 9,000 OTHER drivers, for a total of 27,000 per year. That simple move would put our traffic safety record in league with Japan, Germany, and Switzerland.
If women are allowed to drive, then they ought to be required to pass a German-type driving test, which neither my mother nor two sisters were able to pass.
An Update for young drivers from the 2011 FARS database shows that drivers between the age of 16-23 are involved in 12,400 fatal crashes each year, which is 42 percent of the 29,723 fatal crashes that year in which a total of 32,637 fellow citizens were killed. Only 1,907 of these young drivers had a BAC greater than 0.10, which means that alcohol was NOT a factor in 10,943 or 84.6% of those crashes. So even if ALL of the alcohol related crashes for young drivers were to be completely eliminated, they would STILL have a fatal crash rate 3-5 times higher than most other age groups.
About 50% or 6,200 of the 12,400 fatal crashes which involve young drivers also involve drivers of other age groups. So if young drivers were not allowed to drive until age 23, we have the potential to reduce fatal accidents like the one which is the subject of this discussion by a total of 12,400 + 6,200 = 18,600, which would lead to a reduction of our total vehicle fatality rate by 18,600 / 29,723 = 62.6%.
Who would HATE to see this happen?
1) Young drivers, of course, not even the 124 THOUSAND who we know will die in auto accident over the next ten years if we do nothing.
2) Auto insurance companies like AAA and others.
3) The entire auto industries both here and abroad.
|STATE: All||YEAR: 2008||COUNT: Number of Persons|
|Age||Police-Reported Alcohol Involvement||Total|
|Blank ||No (Alcohol Not Involved) ||Yes (Alcohol Involved) ||Not Reported ||Unknown (Police Reported) |
|Up To One Year||1||99||0||206||3||309|
|97 Years or Older||0||2||0||8||1||11|