What age group has the most fatal crashes?

Age is one of the most important factors that impacts how likely you are to get in a car accident. Read on to examine the age group with the most fatal crashes and how gender and location affect that.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 20, 2022

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Things to remember

  • Drivers aged 25 to 34 are the deadliest age group in 32 states
  • Washington, D.C., has the most fatal crashes among drivers aged 16 – 34
  • Drivers 65 or older are the least likely to be involved in a fatal car accident

In the United States, over 30,000 people die in fatal car accidents yearly. Car insurance companies know the risks drivers take on the road, so they study the factors that increase the likelihood of a crash to determine rates.

Age and gender are two significant factors that determine auto insurance rates. Insurance companies study the rate of car accidents by age and often charge younger drivers more. However, the deadliest drivers are not teens — drivers in their 30s are responsible for more fatal accidents than any other age group.

This study examines which age group has the most car accidents and breaks down accident rates by state. We found that the deadliest age group on the road are drivers aged 25 – 34, followed by teens and young drivers aged 20 – 24.

If you’re a young driver or considering adding a teen to your auto insurance policy, keep reading to learn how you can save money on car insurance with good driver and good student discounts.

What age group has the most fatal car accidents?

The age group with the most fatal car accidents are drivers between the ages of 25 and 34. There are nearly 1,000 more deaths per year among 25- to 34-year-olds than drivers under 25.

Number of Auto Accident Fatalities by Age
Age GroupNumber of Deaths in Fatal Accidents
16-245,623
25-346,548
35-445,117
45-544,958
55-645,347
65-743,658
75+3,556
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Now, let’s take a closer look at the age groups with the most fatal accidents:

#1 – Drivers Aged 25 – 34

Younger millennial drivers are responsible for the most fatal crashes across the country. On average, this age group comprises 18.8% of all fatal accidents.

  • Total number of drivers aged 25 – 34: 36,739,000
  • Total number of fatal crashes: 6,548
  • Worst states for this age group: Washington, D.C., and Rhode Island

In Washington, D.C., drivers between the ages of 25 and 34 tied with drivers aged 35 – 44 for fatal accidents. Together, they’re responsible for more than half (52.2%) of all fatal accidents in the district.

#2 – Drivers Aged 16 – 24

Despite being stereotyped as the most reckless drivers on the road, teens and younger drivers are less likely to get into fatal crashes in most states. In fact, when considering the youngest drivers aged 16 – 20, they had fewer fatal accidents than any other age group on this list.

  • Total number of drivers aged 16 – 24: 25,709,000
  • Total number of fatal crashes: 5,623
  • Worst states for this age group: Alaska and Montana

In Alaska, teen and young drivers tied with 25- to 34-year-old drivers for the most fatal accidents. Together, they account for 41.6% of traffic fatalities in the state. In Montana, teen and young drivers are responsible for 20.6% of fatal accidents.

#3 – Drivers Aged 55 – 64

Drivers in this age range are the deadliest in only four states, accounting for less than 20% of fatal accidents in every state except New Hampshire.

  • Total number of drivers aged 55 – 64: 22,674,000
  • Total number of fatal crashes: 5,347
  • Worst states for this age group: New Hampshire and Virginia

Drivers between 55 and 64 are involved in 22.8% of fatal accidents in New Hampshire. However, they tied as the deadliest age group in Virginia with 25- to 34-year-old drivers, with both groups in 16.7% of fatal accidents.

#4 – Drivers Aged 35 – 44

Older millennials Drivers aged 35 – 44 are among the least deadly age groups on the road despite having the highest number of licensed drivers in the U.S. population.

  • Total number of drivers aged 35 – 44: 42,153,000
  • Total number of fatal crashes: 5,117
  • Worst states for this age group: Washington, D.C., and North Dakota

This age group tied with younger millennials as the deadliest drivers in Washington, D.C., accounting for 22% of fatal accidents in North Dakota.

#5 – Drivers Aged 45 – 54

This age group ranks as the most deadly in only one state — South Carolina, where they’re responsible for 17.2% of fatal accidents.

  • Total number of drivers aged 45 – 54: 36,021,000
  • Total number of fatal crashes: 4,958
  • Worst state for this age group: South Carolina

These drivers are among the safest on the road, along with the older generation of drivers aged 65 and older.

As drivers age, the total fatal crashes they are involved in decrease. We did not include statistics from drivers in the 65+ age group because no state-ranked them as the most deadly drivers.

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What age group has the most fatal crashes per state?

Drivers between the ages of 25 and 34 ranked the highest in 32 states and were responsible for more than 20% of all fatal accidents in nine states. Teen and young drivers had the highest fatality rates in 23 states.

Age Groups for Deadliest Fatal Car Accidents by State
StateDeadliest Age Group(s)Number of DeathsPercentage of Total Fatal Accidents
Alabama25-3417618.9%
Alaska16-24, 25-341420.8%
Arizona35-24, 55-6415315.6%
Arkansas16-248516.8%
California25-3477021.3%
Colorado25-3411318.9%
Connecticut16-244417.7%
Delaware16-242317.4%
District of Columbia25-34, 35-44626.1%
Florida25-3454417.1%
Georgia25-3428118.8%
Hawaii25-342321.3%
Idaho35-443415.2%
Illinois25-3419119%
Indiana16-2414017.3%
Iowa16-245717%
Kansas16-247117.3%
Kentucky35-4412416.9%
Louisiana35-4414519.9%
Maine25-343321%
Maryland25-349718.6%
Massachusetts16-245817.4%
Michigan25-3417217.5%
Minnesota55-645615.4%
Mississippi25-3411317.6%
Missouri25-3415717.8%
Montana16-243820.6%
Nebraska25-345020.1%
Nevada25-345313.8%
New Hampshire55-642322.8%
New Jersey25-3410712.4%
New Mexico25-348520%
New York25-3418019.3%
North Carolina25-3426619.4%
North Dakota35-442222%
Ohio25-3420017.3%
Oklahoma25-3410917%
Oregon25-348417.2%
Pennsylvania25-3418817.7%
Rhode Island25-341424.6%
South Carolina45-5417217.2%
South Dakota16-242019.6%
Tennessee25-3419817.4%
Texas25-3472920.2%
Utah16-244417.7%
Vermont25-34919.1%
Virginia25-34, 55-6413916.7%
Washington25-349317.9%
West Virginia25-344617.7%
Wisconsin16-249516.8%
Wyoming25-342819%
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Young drivers between 16 and 24 and millennial drivers aged 25 – 34 tied for the country’s highest percentage of fatal accidents (26.1%). Although 25- to 34-year-old drivers are behind more fatal crashes, teen drivers still ranked second-highest, which is why auto insurance costs more for young drivers.

Who has more fatal car accidents by age and gender?

Why are car insurance rates higher for males? Males are more likely to get into a fatal accident than female drivers.

Fatal Car Accidents by Age and Gender
Age GroupNumber of Male FatalitiesNumber of Female Fatalities
16-243,3031,540
25-343,3551,472
35-443,0551,072
45-541,826914
55-641,936902
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Overall, the rate of traffic-related deaths is nearly double for males than females across all age groups.

However, the youngest drivers still have the highest fatality rates, leading insurance companies to increase rates for teen drivers who lack experience behind the wheel. Young male drivers also pay more for car insurance than any other driver.

How to Save Money on Auto Insurance for Young Drivers

They aren’t the most dangerous drivers on the road, but auto insurance companies still charge higher rates for young drivers under 25. For example, a young driver’s average car insurance rates are $215 monthly, $60 more than the national average.

Unfortunately, auto insurance rates for a 16-year-old will go as high as $800 per month for full coverage. You can reduce these rates by adding a teen driver to an existing policy. Still, your rates will be higher than average due to the age and assumed inexperience of the young driver.

Auto insurance rates begin to decrease after a driver turns 25, but you may still see increased rates due to the high fatality rates among this age group. Fortunately, most auto insurance companies offer discounts to young drivers for having good grades, taking a driver’s education course, and paying your annual car insurance in full.

This table lists the auto insurance discounts available to drivers under 25:

Auto Insurance Discounts for Drivers Under 25
Auto Insurance DiscountsAllstateAmerican FamilyFarmersGeicoLiberty MutualNationwideProgressiveState FarmTravelersUSAA
Adaptive Cruise Controlxxx
Adaptive Headlightsxxxx
Anti-Lock Brakesxxxxxxxxxx
Anti-Theftxxxxxxxxxx
Claim Freexxxxxxxxxx
Continuous Coveragexxxxxx
Daytime Running Lightsxxxxxxxxx
Defensive Driverxxxxxxxxxx
Distant Studentxxxxxxxxx
Driver's Edxxxxxxxxx
Driving Device/Appxxxxxxxxx
Early Signingxxxxxxxx
Electronic Stability Controlxxxxxx
Emergency Deploymentx
Family Legacyxxxx
Family Planxxx
Farm Vehiclexxx
Federal Employeexxx
Forward Collision Warningxxx
Full Paymentxxxxxxx
Further Educationxxxx
Garaging/Storingxxx
Good Creditxxx
Good Studentxxxxxxxxxx
Green Vehiclexxxx
Homeownerxxxxxxx
Lane Departure Warningxxx
Life Insurancexx
Low Mileagexxxxxxxxxx
Loyaltyxxxxx
Marriedxxxxx
Membership/Groupxxxx
Militaryxxxxxx
Multiple Drivers
Multiple Policiesxxxxxxxxxx
Multiple Vehiclesxxxxxxxxx
New Addressx
New Customer/New Planx
New Graduatex
Newer Vehiclexxxxxxxx
Newly Licensedx
Newlywedsx
Occupationxxxxxx
On Time Paymentsxx
Online Shopperx
Paperless Documentsxxxxx
Paperless/Auto Billingxxxxxxxxx
Passive Restraintxxxxxxxxxx
Safe Driverxxxxxxxxx
Seat Belt Usex
Students & Alumnixxxx
Volunteerx
Young Driverxxx
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Does your insurance company offer the discounts you need to lower your rates? If not, start shopping around with multiple local companies. Get quotes from three different insurers in your area to find one with the right discounts and a suitable price for every driver on your policy.

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Methodology: What age group has the most fatal crashes?

We used the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatality Analysis Reporting System to find the rate of fatal car accidents by age and state. We combined the 16 to 20 and 21 to 24 age groups, so each group encompasses 10 years.

We also used teenage motor vehicle trends from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety to examine the differences between male and female teen drivers. Finally, the U.S. Department of Transportation provided details regarding the number of licensed drivers in the country.

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