Driver Accidents UK: What Age Group Has The Most Accidents?

Heavy accident, Modern car accident involving many cars on the road in Thailand

Many factors are consistently at play regarding road traffic accidents each year. From drunk driving to mechanical failure, to using mobile phones while driving and more – many road traffic accidents and collisions can be avoided by safe and careful driving. 

There has been a long debate on what age group has the most accidents, with young drivers crowned at the top of this list every year. Undoubtedly, a high level of risk is associated with young drivers due to inexperience on the road and their age. However, although older drivers have more experience on the road, various factors can hamper their driving, including deterioration in eyesight, working memory, and cognitive overload. 

Click 4 Reg, a private number plate supplier, has compiled a list of driver accident statistics for UK drivers to determine what age group has the most accidents. Let’s take a look at some statistics for both young drivers and elderly drivers.

Young Driver Accidents Statistics UK

  • Young male drivers account for 80% of young driver fatalities.
  • Young male drivers are four times more likely to be seriously injured or killed on the road than drivers aged 25 or over.
  • One in five drivers of all ages were involved in a crash within the first year of driving. 
  • According to police records in 2016, 18.8% of crashes involving young drivers were due to the driver being “careless, reckless or in a hurry”.
  • GoCompare research found that 58% of 18 to 24-year-olds admitted to using their phone while driving compared to 34% of all drivers.
  • Young drivers aged 16-24 account for 24% of drink driving casualties in Great Britain.
  • According to Brake, 1500+ young drivers are seriously injured or killed in the UK every year.
  • In 2019, 73% of young driver accidents occurred on rural roads compared to 79% of all car drivers.

Accidents Caused By Elderly Drivers UK

  • One main factor relating to elderly car accidents is because the driver failed to look properly or misjudged another driver’s path or speed.
  • In 2016, 72% of fatal casualties for older car drivers occurred on rural roads.
  • The 2019 report by the government shows that older drivers, bus travellers and pedestrians seem to be involved in more serious road accidents, with a 6% rise for those aged 60 and over.
  • In 2019, 1,121 male drivers aged 40-59 were seriously injured or killed in a road traffic accident, compared to 1,259 18-24 drivers.

Leading Causes of Car Accidents in the UK

Now that we’ve read some statistics on young and elderly drivers, let’s dive into the leading causes of car accidents in the UK for 2022 gathered from the Department for Transport.

  1. Driver failed to look properly – 37.8%.
  2. Driver failed to judge another driver’s path or speed – 19.7%.
  3. Driving carelessly or in a hurry – 18.0%.
  4. Poor turn or manoeuvre – 11.6%.
  5. Loss of control – 11.4%.
  6. Slippery road – 8.1%.
  7. Exceeding speed limit – 7.4%.
  8. Pedestrians failed to look properly – 6.7%.
  9. Travelling too fast for road conditions – 6.2%.
  10. Sudden braking – 4.7%.

What Age Group Has The Most Accidents?

For UK car drivers, statistics are released each year that showcase the rates of death and serious injuries due to road traffic accidents. We have compiled all of the data and summarised this below.

Based on data from 2019, drivers aged 20-29 were killed or seriously injured more than any other age group.

As stated briefly, young drivers are more likely to misjudge certain events and speeds because they are inexperienced on the road. A common trait among young drivers is overconfidence, especially in young males, as they tend to be more impulsive and like the thrill of driving fast, exceeding speed limits.

Drivers aged 30-39 and 50-59 take the second and third spots.

Research suggests that older drivers involved in car accidents are more likely not to have looked properly than drivers of all ages. Despite older drivers being involved in crashes, they are less likely to have been caused by careless or reckless driving than younger drivers. 

In addition, the fatality rate for drivers over 75 is more than five times higher than the average, according to EU Mobility & Transport.

Conclusion

In conclusion, although young drivers are responsible for a high percentage of road traffic accidents in the UK, they are caused by various factors, e.g. the type of vehicle, road conditions, gender and more. It’s apparent that young drivers need to be more cautious on the road, as do elderly drivers.

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