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Re: Bad driving [Was: Re: Cupholders & Americans] [long]

Stephen Bigelow wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Elliott Potter <epotter@abraxis.com>
> >Anyway, it bugs me when people say "well your insurance rates are
> >astronomical because you're under 25."  Yes, they are, but is my being
> >under 25 a good reason for my insurance rates to be astronomical?
> Because males under 25 get into more than their share of accidents,
> therefore costing the insurance companies more.
This is what insurance companies say, too.  Then they whip out some
scary statistics with graphs and tables and then tell us to bend over.
Well I can't putt any graphs because they'll get filtered out, but here
are some tables [1]:

Driver involvement in all crashes (fatal, injury, and

(nn percent of crashes involved the driver at fault being in age group
Age	Percent
16-24	25%
25-34	24%
35-44	21%
45-54	14%

Wait, what's that?  There's not much of a difference until you hit
45...the oh-so-mature 25-34 segment just barely edges out the
serial-killer-on-wheels teenagers.  That's 1%...and we're only 4% over
the 35-44 wise-and-tired group.

But wait, let's look at some more measures of "maturity."  How 'bout
alcohol involvement [2]?

(Of all crashes in age group, what percent of them involved alcohol).

Age	Alcohol inv.
16-24	27.2%
25-34	31.1%
35-44	27.3%
45-54	18.9%

"All of those drunk teenagers, with no respect for the law, endangering
the lives of others."  Oh, wait.....

So how come your insurance rates drop so much when you're 25?  It's not
because your driving is any better, or that you handle your liquor more

Think of it this way:

20 year old driver, late for his class at college, weaving down the
highway but won't be super-concerned if he misses class...nothing much
to lose
28 year old driver, late for the big meeting, "on the fast track,"
weaving down the highway because he has to make this
meeting...definitely something to lose-his job
30 year old driver, late at night, weaving down the highway because he's
piss drunk (or is that another "sweeping generalization?"  OK, it is,
but you're missing my point)

Which is more dangerous?  Someone can say that as you get older, you
have more to lose by going fast.  But young corporate workers tend to
have more to lose by being late, too, while younger people tend to have
less to lose by being late, so that sort of cancels out.

So my point remains: the fact that I'm 20 hardly makes me more likely to
be the cause of an accident, or to kill someone while I'm behind the
wheel (drunk or not).  So what's the deal here?  My question still
stands, why would my insurance rates be higher than a 30 year old's with
the same record?

> 16 years old, no driving record...what are you going to charge them a year?
> Cheap?
No, not cheap.  But instead of charging 'as much as they can get' out of
us, how about charging us by our relative risk?  If they charged all of
those 30-somethings the same rates they charge us, insurance legislation
would have gone through congress years ago.


[1] Source:
_Traffic Safety Facts 1997_, U.S. Department of Transportation, NHTSA.
Page 98, Table 63
"Driver Involvement Rates per 100,000 Licensed Drivers by Age, Sex, and
Crash Severity, 1996"
Section used: "Drivers in All Crashes"

[2] Source:
_Traffic Safety Facts 1997_, U.S. Department of Transportation, NHTSA.
Page 112, Table 77
"Drivers Involved in Crashes by Age, Alcohol Involvement, and Crash
Section used: "Drivers in Fatal Crashes"