As a middle-aged professional with a family, you have a lot to worry about, especially when it comes to safety on the road. As your kids get older, they will expect to learn to drive and eventually enjoy the freedom of driving on their own. That means driver’s education and all of the risks that come with youthful family members driving.
Additionally, you may have to look after your aging parents as they experience the decline in health that often comes with advanced age. Issues with reaction times, vision issues and other symptoms of aging can make it so your parents are also very much at risk of causing a collision on the road.
You may find yourself wondering whether your parents or your child are more likely to be dangerous drivers. Statistics make it pretty clear what ages are most at risk on the road.
According to crash data, teenagers are at the greatest risk of a crash
While your new driver or soon-to-be-driving teen may resent the implication that teens are inherently less safe at the wheel, statistics don’t lie. Individual teenage drivers may, in fact, be very safe and skillful, but as a group, teenagers are much more susceptible to significant collisions than almost any other age group.
In fact, for those who are 16 or 17, their crash risk is more than six times higher than most other drivers on the road and three times higher than drivers between the ages of 18 and 25 according to an analysis of crash statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
As your parents age, their risk at the wheel will increase
People often begin noticing the effects of aging as soon as their 40s via hair loss and reduced muscle mass. Joint pains, loss of hearing and vision, and other issues may get worse throughout their 50s, 60s and 70s.
However, it isn’t until the age of 85 that older adults start to experience substantially increased statistical risk that is the same as drivers between the ages of 18 and 25. As someone caring for both aging parents and growing children, it’s important that you talk about safety concerns and intervene if you think either your teen or your parent isn’t safe behind the wheel.