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Men get into fatal car crashes twice as often as women

(Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

There's a good reason men get charged more for car insurance than women. Though they get into slightly fewer minor crashes, they're about twice as likely to get into a fatal crash on a per-mile basis.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration collects data on the percentage of male and female drivers involved in three different types of crashes each year: those involving fatalities, injuries, or just property damage. Every year since data collection began, a given male driver was much more likely to get into all three.


(National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

However, men also drive many more miles than women. As of 2009 (the most recent year with this sort of data), the average male driver drove more than 15,000 miles, compared with about 10,000 for the average woman.

On a per-mile basis, men get into about twice as many fatal crashes as women. The rate for both sexes has been steeply declining for years — mostly due to seat belts, airbags, and reduced drunk driving — but the gap has remained:

There are a few reasons for this, but by far the biggest is that men drive drunk much more often, even though drunk driving has declined overall.

A male driver who gets into a fatal accident is almost twice as likely as a female to have a blood alcohol level above .08, the legal limit in most states:

On the other hand, women actually get into more non-fatal crashes — those that only cause injuries or property damage:

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