You probably already know that certain decisions that you make may increase your likelihood of getting into a crash. Driving while sick, handling devices while driving and other decisions can contribute to your overall collision risk.

There are other factors, some of which may be beyond your control, which correlate to your likelihood of getting injured in a car crash. Learning a little bit about these factors can aid you and the people you love stay safer on the road by helping you make better harm-reduction choices regarding your driving habits.

Your age impacts your degree of risk for a crash

As you may already know, the oldest and youngest drivers on the road are the ones with the highest degree of overall crash risk. Although teenagers usually bear the brunt of scrutiny regarding youthful collisions, research shows that drivers between the ages of 21 and 29 are at the highest degree of risk, and data analysis shows that collision risk declines somewhat as drivers grow older.

However, once drivers reach the age of 70, their risk for a crash begins to increase again. Those over the age of 80 are at particular risk for crashes that cause injuries. They are also at risk for injuries that could have long-term consequences because of the impact of aging on how the body handles traumatic injury.

Driving at night will increase your risk of a crash

When you consider the reduction in visibility and the potential for people to be out driving after the bar closes, it’s easy to understand why nighttime driving carries much higher risks than daytime driving. However, it is not just your overall risk for a collision that goes up at night.

The chances of a fatal crash are higher at night, especially for drivers who are younger.

Crash and injury risk decrease with longer trips

People who have on average very short driving trips carry much more risk per mile traveled than those who travel longer distances on a regular basis. Those with short average trips may only drive while commuting or in urban environments where they will have to stop and make decisions more frequently than they would on an interstate or a longer trip. Longer driving trips also mean more driving experience and possibly better performance at the wheel.

Knowing these complex factors can help you make better decisions, but driving remains an inherently dangerous activity. Those who suffer serious injuries in crashes may need to prepare to negotiate with insurance providers or to file a civil suit against the driver who caused the collision.