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Are teens or senior citizens better drivers?

Odds are that you've heard complaints about drivers in every age group but your own.

With teens, for example, people complain about speeding and risky driving. They point to incredibly high crash rates. With senior citizens, people complain about a declining driving ability as eyesight fades and reaction times slow down. They point to overly-careful driving that means cars are not moving with the speed of traffic.

So, which drivers pose less of a risk?

The answer, as frustrating as it can be to be stuck behind a car going below the speed limit, is that seniors are still better drivers than teens.

The fatality rate for senior drivers is as low as it's ever been. Some reports show that it's fallen by 40 percent since 1975.

Teens, however, have one of the highest fatality rates in the country. For instance, statistics from 2008 show that drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 made up 12 percent of the deaths in auto accidents, They're crashing so often that they're outpacing their own population group.

On the other hand, drivers who are between 65 and 69 years old account for only 3.7 percent of the total U.S. population. They were involved in only 3.2 percent of deadly accidents.

Similar statistics show that teen drivers are vastly more likely to crash than older drivers. One study found that they were four times as likely to be involved in a wreck.

It's clear that teen drivers continue to pose a risk. If you've been involved in an accident with a young driver, make sure that you know your legal rights.

Source: USA Today, "Are seniors or teens safer drivers? The surprising answer," Chris Woodyard, accessed Aug. 08, 2017

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