teens driving

When it comes to driving, age is often a hot topic of discussion. There’s a common stereotype that teenagers are poor drivers and another belief that older adults often struggle behind the wheel. But what do the statistics say?

Exploring the facts behind age-related driving accidents and what causes the most collisions can help you implement safe driving techniques and prevent injuries and accidents on the road.

Breaking Down Crash Statistics in South Carolina

In 2020, South Carolina had 964 fatal car collisions and 2,196 serious injury accidents. These crashes, which were caused by drivers of all ages across the state, occured due to inexperience, overconfidence, speeding, distraction, or declining cognitive and physical abilities.

Teen Drivers

In 2020, South Carolina had 211,463 licensed drivers aged 15-19, making up 5.4% of all drivers. This age group was involved in 20,302 collisions, with 88 being fatal and 249 causing serious injuries. Teens under 15 were responsible for 100 accidents, with 3 fatalities and 5 crashes resulting in severe injuries.

Inexperience, distracted driving (often because of mobile phones), and impaired driving (involving alcohol or drugs) are common causes of accidents in this age group.

Adults Between 20 and 44

Adults aged between 20 and 44 also contributed to collisions in the state in 2020. This group was involved in 108,322 crashes, of which 712 were fatal and 1,841 resulted in injuries.

Breaking it down further:

Age Group Total Crashes Fatal Crashes Injury Crashes
20-24 28,308 143 404
25-29 24,649 176 443
30-34 21,605 147 405
35-39 18,161 133 328
40-44 15,599 113 261

 

According to this data, there is a gradual decrease in accidents as drivers get older. However, it also highlights that car accidents can occur in high numbers at any age.

Older Adults Between 45 and 64

Older adults between 45 and 64 were involved in 54,138 crashes in 2020 in South Carolina. This included 322 fatal crashes and 853 injury collisions.

 

Age Group Total Crashes Fatal Crashes Injury Crashes
45 to 49 14,526 105 210
50 to 54 14,081 116 231
55 to 59 13,923 107 202
60 to 64 11,608 91 210

 

This data shows that crash rates continue declining as driver age increases, but injuries and fatalities can still occur.

People Over 65 (65 to 84)

The oldest group of drivers in South Carolina are motorists between 65 and 84. This age group was responsible for 22,649 crashes, resulting in 167 fatal collisions and 333 injury accidents.

 

Age Group Total Crashes Fatal Crashes Injury Crashes
65 to 69 8,942 56 131
70 to 74 7,033 53 110
75 to 79 4,399 33 56
80 to 84 2,275 25 36

 

The over-65 drivers caused slightly more crashes than teens (22,649 vs. 20,402); however, this group makes up 21% of total drivers in the state, compared to the 5.4% of licensed teenage drivers.

Tips for Maintaining Your Driving Skills at Any Age

Regardless of age, there are several steps you can take to ensure you remain a safe and competent driver. Consider the following whether you are just getting your license or have been driving for years:

  • Regularly update your knowledge: Stay current with traffic laws and road regulations. Rules can change over time; regularly check in with the DMV to learn about traffic laws or policy changes.
  • Regular eye and health check-ups: Regular eye check-ups are essential for all drivers, especially if you wear glasses because your prescription can change gradually and without your noticing. Ensure your vision and overall health meet the standards for safe driving.
  • Defensive driving courses: Consider taking a defensive driving course. These courses can refresh your driving skills, introduce you to new safety techniques, and even potentially earn you a discount on car insurance.
  • Minimize distractions: Avoid distractions while driving, such as texting or using your phone. Distracted driving is a common cause of accidents across all age groups.
  • Adapt to weather conditions: Be cautious when driving in adverse weather. Adjust your speed and driving style to match the conditions on the road.
  • Stay sober: Never drink and drive. Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction times, making it a significant factor in accidents.
  • Limit night driving: It harder to see at night or in dim lighting, limit your driving during nighttime hours whenever possible.

Take the First Step Toward Justice Today

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident caused by a negligent driver and need legal guidance in South Carolina, contact Joye Law Firm.

Our experienced car accident attorneys can provide you with a free consultation and support your South Carolina car accident claim. Your path to justice starts with a call to Joye Law Firm.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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