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Which Demographic of Drivers More Likely to Cause Car Accidents? The Answer May Shock You

When one thinks of the most dangerous drivers on the road, the first image that might come to mind is that of a crowded car of teen drivers or the idea of an elderly driver on medication.

Yet, the old image of the dangerous teen or older driver may have to be revised. While the Centers for Disease Control reports that car accidents are the leading cause of teen deaths, when one compares the percentage of teen drivers responsible for car accidents to the larger pool of drivers on the road, teen drivers actually only account for 7% of Florida crashes and 4% of the total fatalities. Furthermore, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that individuals in their 20s account for the greatest numbers of accidents and fatalities in Florida. Individuals over age 65 only account for about 11% of the total crashes compared to the 22% of crashes caused by drivers between the ages of 20 and 29.

Individuals in their twenties are likely to drive more miles, spend more time on the road, and may be more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors like drinking and driving.

A person’s profession could also have an impact on how likely he or she is to cause an accident. A recent study evaluated the numbers of insurance claims for various professions. The results were shocking.

A recent analysis found that the professionals most likely to cause accidents resulting in insurance claims are surgeons and general practitioners. The Guardian reports that a general practitioner is 100 times more likely to cause an-at fault accident than a clerk. More alarming were the number of surgeons who made claims for accidents. Out of 1,000 surgeons, 361 made a claim within the last five years. It seems that the very people who may be charged to help car accident victims, may actually be the most likely to cause car accidents themselves.

Medical professionals in general topped the list of individuals most likely to cause accidents. These included nurses and hospital workers.

The reasons that underlie these statistics may be similar to the reasons that lead to medical mistakes. The Washington Post reports that misdiagnosis occurs in 20 percent of cases. The ER was cited as being a petri dish for diagnostic errors with time pressure and speed being the rule. The New York Timespraised teaching hospitals from abolishing the 30-hour overnight shift for first-year residentsthat had been the norm. Research on the hazards of fatigue both for doctors and their patients led to the change in rules. As it stands, doctors are limited to an 80-hour workweek and are restricted to 24-hour long shifts. Currently, doctors in training are only required to have one day off a week.

A study performed by the New England Journal of Medicine found that doctors who worked a 30-hour week were 36% more likely to make medical errors. When one considers that these same doctors hit the road after these egregiously long shifts, it comes at no surprise that individuals in the medical profession would be the most likely to get into car accidents.

Kevin Pratt, a car insurance expert, told the Guardian that stress and fatigue may be a leading cause of car accidents among medical professionals.

Finally, a study performed by Howard University found that men are more likely than women to get into accidents. Washington Post reports that men were involved in 65% of the accidents reported in the study. Despite the fact that men and women both have driver’s licenses in equal numbers, at least when it comes to D.C. drivers, men were more likely to get into accidents.

Of course, statistics only paint part of a total picture. Safe driving is a complex process involving many factors. Being well-rested, engaging in low-risk behaviors behind the wheel, and focusing on the road trump demographics and statistics any day.