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Study: Unlicensed Drivers Pose Threat On California Roads

DMV study finds the drivers with revoked or suspended licenses or who drive without a license are more likely to cause fatal car accidents.

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

But it’s even more dangerous to be an unlicensed driver rather than 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 (PDF), 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.

Nick Stavros January 03, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Its an easy problem to solve. Require that a valid Driver's license be required to purchase gas. Most gas pumps are smart enough to read CA Dr. Licenses. Think of the COSTCO pumps which require a club card and a credit card. For non-California Driver's license, the driver's license must be presented to the gas station attendant.
Shauntel Lowe January 03, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Now that's a creative idea. I wonder if unlicensed drivers would consider it worth the hassle to find a licensed driver to go get gas on their behalf. I'd hope not.
Clariece Tally January 04, 2013 at 09:22 PM
What hassle? They just simply get someone else in the car to swipe their card - or pay cash. This isn't a realistic or viable solution to the problem. The most effective way to keep them off the road is with a "boot." It would probably become a growth industry in this state with the number of illegal/undocumented drivers...
Joe St. Lucas January 05, 2013 at 08:19 AM
The study excluded 56% of the two vehicle crashes because they involved a vehicle that was not a passenger car or pickup truck? Why throw out over 15,000 data points?
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