A new report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that almost 20 percent of drivers who are involved in fatal car accidents are unlicensed. The report was prepared using 2012 crash data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). This system was developed in 1975 by the NHTSA as a census of all the fatal crashes that occur in each of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Since its implementation, there have been close to one million crashes entered into the database. A vehicle accident is entered into FARS if it meets the following:
- Accident occurred on a road that is open to the public; and
- The accident resulted in the death of at least one person within 30 days of the incident.
There are a number of reasons why a driver would not have a driver’s license; however, FARS does not include that information in its database. Possible reasons include failure of the driver to renew their license on time; license had been suspended or revoked for driving violations (such as driving under the influence or speeding); license had been suspended for revoked for non-driving violations (such as failure to pay child support); never obtained a driver’s license; and having never obtained a license specific to the vehicle being driven (such as a motorcycle).
In addition to the overall unlicensed driver percent, other statistics the report revealed included:
- Fatal crashes that occurred at night are more likely to involve an unlicensed driver;
- There were more male unlicensed drivers involved in fatal crashes than female unlicensed drivers;
- For drivers who were actually of legal age in their state to have obtained a driver’s license, the age group which had the highest number of unlicensed drivers involved in a fatal crash was 21 to 34 years of age; and
- Motorcycle drivers involved in fatal crashes were more likely to be unlicensed than those driving other types of vehicles.
In 2012, Texas had 3,398 fatal car accidents. There were 878 drivers – or 26 percent – involved in those accidents that were unlicensed.
If you have lost a loved one in a vehicle crash caused by the negligence of another driver, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what legal action you may be able to take.