Highway Safety:

Factors Affecting Involvement in Vehicle Crashes

PEMD-95-3: Published: Oct 27, 1994. Publicly Released: Nov 29, 1994.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the factors that contribute to vehicular crashes, focusing on: (1) drivers' age, gender, and driving history; and (2) vehicle size and age.

GAO found that: (1) driver characteristics far outweigh vehicle factors in predicting vehicular crashes; (2) drivers who are younger, male, and have a history of traffic violations, particularly alcohol violations, are more likely to be involved in single-vehicle crashes; (3) drivers 65 and older are the second most likely group to be involved in crashes; (4) older vehicles are slightly more at risk for crash involvement, but other factors that are linked to vehicle age may also play a part in older cars' involvement in crashes; (5) light cars are three times more likely to be involved in single-vehicle rollover crashes than heavy cars; (6) a car's wheel-base or engine size is a better predictor of crash involvement; and (7) light trucks and vans show a similar crash-involvement pattern except that driver gender is generally not a significant factor in predicting light truck and van crashes..

Feb 28, 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Jan 16, 2018

Dec 21, 2017

Dec 14, 2017

Dec 4, 2017

Nov 30, 2017

Nov 15, 2017

Nov 2, 2017

Oct 31, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here