Unlicensed Drivers Far More Deadly on the Road, California Study Says

Drivers without a valid license in California are nearly three times more likely cause fatal car accidents than those with a valid license, according to a study by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Drivers who are unlicensed or have a suspended or revoked license are nearly three times more likely to cause a fatal crash, a California Department of Motor Vehicles study found.

It’s even more dangerous to be an unlicensed driver rather than to drive with a suspended or revoked license. Compared to the average legal driver, such drivers are 2.6 to 2.73 times more likely to cause a fatal crash, depending on the driver.

The study, Fatal Crash Rates for Suspended/Revoked and Unlicensed Drivers, took crash data over a span of 23 years. Researchers looked at the correlation among two-vehicle fatal crashes where one driver was at fault. The at-fault crash risk of drivers without permission to drive has not diminished over time.

The Department of Motor Vehicles found that people between the ages of 20 to 29 who do not have authorized licenses have the largest percentage of two-vehicle fatal car accidents.  

If caught with a suspended or revoked license or found to be driving without one, the citation can result in a 30-day vehicle impoundment, thousands of dollars in fines, and/or time added to a suspension or probation period.

DJParker January 07, 2013 at 01:50 PM
The outcome is obvious! This is an obvious case of racial profiling. We need a "Driver Training Course for Illegal Aliens" funded by the few middle class taxpayers left in Ca.
Kathy A. January 07, 2013 at 10:15 PM
It can't hurt to remind everyone that there are reasons we require valid licenses for driving. Exhibit A in my family is a relative with early-onset dementia, who was suspended -- more than once -- but still thinks she is fine to drive. Inexperienced drivers, particularly ones who do not have driver training, vastly over-estimate their own abilities. It looks so easy, right? They never think about the possibility of killing their best friend or ending up paralyzed themselves, much less the casualties around them. These are examples that can happen in every family, and too often do. It is my understanding that driver's ed (classroom safety instruction) used to be widely offered, and no longer is so available. Maybe other readers know more? But I think every HS student should be required to take such a course -- whether they intend to drive themselves, or not; whether they were born here, or not. Traffic is a part of our lives, and traffic safety affects us all.


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