The most dangerous drivers in Iowa aren’t all in one easy-to-classify group. D-O-T Driver Safety Specialist Scott Falb says a lack of experience and diminishing ability usually provide a couple groups of drivers who wind up involved in the highest number of crashes.
In fatality rates found in crashes, statisticians often see a trend where the numbers are high among the youngest drivers, high among the oldest, but low in the middle. But Falb says in Iowa, that’s not exactly what our trend looks like in highway fatality cases.
The 15-to-24-year-olds still are the highest numbers of both fatalities and of drivers who are involved in fatal crashes. The numbers drop after that age range, but there’s a sharp rise in 34-to-54-year-old drivers in another cluster of fatality reports, then another dip and a final surge in highway crashes among the drivers who are 75 and older.
While youth and age may explain the prevalence of two of those groups, he says the reason for the large number of wrecks involving middle-aged drivers is simply that there are more of them in the state’s population than any other age group.
They’re a big bulge in both the state’s population and its licensed drivers, what Falb calls “the Baby Boom bubble that’s marching through the demographic data.” He says it’s not that baby boomers are bad drivers, just that the large numbers of people in that age range affect all statistics including highway fatalities.