Seniors vs. Teens: Who’s More Dangerous?

The highways are a dangerous place and the numbers tell us that Senior drivers and Teen drivers are the most accident prone. This really shouldn’t be knock on either group, because we will all find ourselves in one of these groups, if we’re lucky. If we go by the number alone, Consumer Reports finds that teens are 9 times more likely to get in an accident than middle-aged drivers. Senior drivers are 5 times more likely.


Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents. Between eating, cell phone use, car stereo, make-up and more there are plenty of sources of driver distraction. Many drivers, especially teens, have suffered fatal consequences from texting. Interestingly enough, it’s technology that car makers are using to save senior drivers’ lives. Inventions like rear back up cameras and lane departure system will adjust the steering wheel self-correct the steering.


This is something that will generally come with experience on the road. It would seem that seniors have the most experience on the road, so their decision-making abilities will be better developed. Teens will often make driving decisions based on instinct or panic. If they encounter a situation that they’ve never experienced, they only have a second to decide. Decision-making is probably where seniors are better on the road.

Reaction Time

Teen drivers will usually have an advantage here when driving under normal conditions. The response times for senior drivers can slow down over time. A common mistake made by senior drivers is in misjudging the speed of oncoming traffic. While teen drivers could probably react two or three times faster after making a decision, a senior drivers response time would be much slower. For a quicker reaction time on the road, teens are probably much safer drivers.

Drinking & Driving

Drinking is a killer for both teens and seniors. Seniors are probably more likely to think they can handle their drinking because they may have practiced for awhile. Many teens will not have even tested their limits, driving or not. Both Seniors and Teens are equally dangerous under the influence, but the statistics tell us that teens are more likely to drive while under the influence.