Young VS Old: Which age group has the worst drivers?
What do you think is worse: being stuck behind a learner driver who keeps stalling, or a senior citizen driving an exhilarating 20km/h? Would you prefer sharing the road with the middle-aged minivan driver instead? Whatever your answer may be, we’d like to encourage you to read the following article about the relationship between driver age and driving ability. It might just change the way you look at the road from here on out. We’ll also be giving some tips to drivers (young and old) to make sure you can stay safe on the road no matter what.
Studies have shown that younger drivers tend to be more dangerous on the roads due to uncertainty and lack of experience. They might have been able to pass their drivers licence tests with flying colours, but if they’re not yet used to driving in certain conditions, they could panic and make rash decisions. Another strange trend among younger drivers is over confidence. Some young drivers who might have mastered the art of driving at a younger age than most (think: learning how to drive on a farm as a child), tend to drive as though they’re invincible. This also becomes a problem when the driver is so focused on their own driving that they forget to watch out for other cars.
Our advice for younger drivers (and drivers in general) is:
- Try not to drive alone in new places or weather conditions. If you’re driving in rush hour traffic for the first time and you can plan ahead, ask someone to drive with you. This way you’ll have another pair of eyes looking out for other drivers and giving helpful advice.
- Know where you’re going. Having a GPS on your dashboard (never in your lap!) can be a huge help when you’re driving somewhere new. It not only takes out the fear of getting lost or driving uncertainly, but it also shows you what might be happening on your route.
- Take care of your car. It can be easy to forget about things like checking your oil and tyres when you’ve never had to do it in the past. Make sure you maintain your car by checking or having someone else check your oil, tyre pressure, windshield wipers, etc.
- Do not text and drive. Ever. Make sure you have a Bluetooth system that you can take calls on. If it’s an emergency, you will get a call. No message is important enough to warrant texting and driving.
- Make sure you’re prepared for the worst. We don’t want to make you worry, but being prepared for the worst-case scenario isn’t pessimistic, its imperative. You will always need jumper cables, a spare tyre, a jack, etc. Make sure your phone is always charged and that you’ll be able to reach emergency services or roadside assistance.
This might make you think that older drivers are the best drivers on the road – but is that actually true? It might not be. The same studies sourced above show that drivers over the age of 80 are just as dangerous as younger drivers but in a different way. The study shows that “drivers ages 16-17 continue to have the highest rates of crash involvement, injuries to themselves and others and deaths of others in crashes in which they are involved. Drivers age 80 and older have the highest rates of driver deaths.”
Our advice to our older readers is:
- Don’t drive for extended periods of time. You might still be able to make a trip to the grocery store around the corner, but driving for hours at a time isn’t advised for any driver.
- Make sure you get your sight and hearing checked occasionally. Your driving skills might not have deteriorated, but being able to read signs and be aware of what’s happening around you is non-negotiable.
- Drive a car that works for you. You might not be able to drive comfortably without power steering anymore. Chronic pain or stiffness could also play a role in your driving ability so make sure you speak to a professional about vehicle modifications when you need them.
- Get some rest. Driving tired has been shown to be just as dangerous as driving intoxicated, so be sure to only drive when you feel well rested.
- Listen to others. If your doctor or family members have shown concern about your driving, take that concern to heart. Speak to a medical professional if you or your family members are worried about your driving abilities and follow the advice that they give.
For those of you caught in the middle (literally and figuratively), be proud that your age group (30-70) tends to be safer drivers than the two groups mentioned above. This doesn’t mean that every single person between these ages is a great driver by design, so please drive respectively and safely no matter where you are. Share some of the driving tips that you’ve heard and apply on the daily in the comments section below. If you would like to contribute to our blog, send us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Drive safely!