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Are some drivers more prone to cause crashes?

There are times when a person is involved in a car accident through no fault of their own. Generally this is because some other driver has acted carelessly or was driving negligently. It is difficult if not impossible to avoid every accident that may be caused by someone else's negligence. It would be useful though to be able to identify those drivers that are more likely to cause serious car accidents.

A recently released study looks at data collected using accelerometers to track the driving habits of younger drivers. What the research discovered should no come as a huge surprise. Those drivers who more often had sudden stops and starts were statistically more likely to be involved in an accident.

That some driving habits are more likely to lead to accidents is certainly not news to insurance companies. Not only do they often hike a policy-holder's premiums if they have a history of being involved in car accidents, some companies even offer discounts if you are willing to have a device installed in your car and have your driving habits tracked.

The take-away from this study may be that for many of those drivers that cause car accidents, the serious injury causing accident that makes it into the local news is likely not an aberration. There are those times when a once in a lifetime mistake or some other unusual factor will lead to an otherwise safe driver causing an accident. But it seems that a driver who negligently causes an accident is likely someone who's driving habits, on a daily basis, are such that their risk of causing an accident is higher than that of the average driver.

Source: Reuters, "Risky starts and stops predict teen crashes," Feb, 20, 2012

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Bredell & Bredell
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