ANNAPOLIS – If you’re a twentysomething man driving alone in a Ford during the daytime this December, put this paper down and keep your eyes on the road.
You fit the profile of the driver most likely to have been in a fatal car crash in Maryland in 1998, according to a Capital News Service analysis of 1998 Fatality Analysis Reporting System data.
Fords made up 17 percent of all cars involved in fatal accidents in 1998, and Chevrolets accounted for almost 15 percent, more than any other makes.
There’s nothing particularly dangerous about those cars, there are just a lot more of them on the road, said Allan Williams, spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The vast majority of drivers involved in fatal crashes were men, 629 of the 864 drivers.
That is because men are risk-takers, and more likely to engage in dangerous driving such as tailgating and running red lights, said Julie Rochman, spokeswoman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
More 20-year-olds, 150, got into fatal car crashes in Maryland than any other age group in 1998.
The percentage of licensed drivers in their teens and 20s involved in fatal accidents was three times as high as the percentage of licensed drivers in their 40s, and six times as high as the percentage of licensed drivers in their 50s or in their 60s.
Young drivers are out on the road without the experience that would allow them to handle high-risk situations. That, coupled with a sense of invincibility, makes them more dangerous drivers, Williams said.
While ice patches and wet roads make drivers nervous, data show that more than 80 percent of deadly accidents take place on dry roads.
While icy roads are riskier, the sheer amount of driving people do on dry roads accounts for the high number of accidents, Williams said.