When you turned 30, you entered something of an elite group: You’re now among some of the safest drivers in the United States. Whether you look at injury crashes or fatal crashes, the stats show that those from 30 to 69 have the lowest accident rates. That’s not to say that crashes won’t happen. They happen for every age group. But you’re still the safest on the whole.
As far as the largest accident risks are concerned, brand new drivers — 16 and 17 years old — clearly get involved in the most crashes. Elderly drivers have comparable fatality numbers, despite crashing less often, largely due to their own frailty. But there is a sharp decline in risk between 16 and 30, when things level off again.
The good news
The good news, of course, is that you can drive with less anxiety than you may have in the past. You’re experienced enough to avoid mistakes that you may have made when you were younger. You’re young enough to stay healthier if you do get in an accident, as your fatal crash rate is also low. Everyone worries a bit when they’re on the road, but you’re in a good place, especially if you’ve already gotten through the early years of your life without a major incident.
The bad news
The bad news, on the other hand, is that accidents happen to everyone. These rates compare who gets involved in accidents most often, but not all accidents involve one driver. You could be safe, smart and careful. But what if a 16-year-old — in that highest accident age group — drives over the center line and hits your car head-on while you’re driving to work?
In other words, there is no age at which the accident risks drop to nothing, largely because you have to share the road with drivers in every single age group. Getting to 30 makes you safer, but it doesn’t change the risks those other drivers continue to pose.
What should you do after a crash?
A serious car accident can leave you with life-changing injuries. A family member could be taken from you. When these things happen, you need to know what legal steps you can take.