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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2004
the fatal crash involvement rate per 100,000 population was nearly 3 times as high
for male drivers as for females. Male drivers involved in fatal crashes have an
intoxication rate of 23%, compared with only 12% for women, according to the NHTSA.
Women are also more likely than men to wear their seat belts.
In addition, based on the average number of miles driven each year, both the youngest
and the oldest drivers are most likely to be involved in fatal collisions. According
to the NHTSA, 16- to 24-year-olds represented 25 percent of all traffic fatalities
in 2004. On a per population basis, drivers under the age of 25 regularly demonstrate
a higher rate of involvement in fatal crashes than any other age group. Much of
this can be explained by the fact that younger drivers lack experience, and often
fail to exercise caution when they drive.
Because they have slower reflexes and their sensory abilities often diminish with
age, drivers over age 65 also have a higher traffic fatality rate than the general
population. This is true despite the fact that older drivers have the lowest intoxication
rates of adult drivers, according to the NHTSA.