The rate at which car drivers are involved in accidents varies with age, as does the rate at which they are injured. Rates fall with age among younger drivers, and it is shown that the accident-involvement and casualty rates per driver in 1985 among the youngest males (17-20 years old) were 2.4 and 3.2 times greater than the average rates for male drivers. Among young female drivers, the rates were 2.0 and 2.4 times greater than the average female rates. The safest drivers were those aged 64-68, with accident-involvement and injury rates about half the average; rates then rose with age among older drivers. Except for drivers aged at least 64, rates for female drivers were less than for male drivers of a similar age. When rates are recalculated on the basis of average annual mileage driven, the lowest rates occur ten years earlier for males and twenty-five years earlier for females. Most accident-involvement and casualty rates fell between 1979 and 1985, particularly in 1983 when seat belt wearing became compulsory. Rates fell more for older drivers and male drivers during this period; some rates for young female drivers rose. Rates for male drivers fell most between 10 pm and 4 am, and this was probably caused by a relative decline in the number of alcohol-related accidents. However, accidents involving only a single car remain particularly common among young drivers, and more male drivers aged 17-20 were injured in 1985 in this type of accident than in any other. (A)

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