Unlicensed drivers and those whose licenses have been suspended or revoked are nearly three times more likely to cause a fatal crash than licensed drivers, a DMV study found.

The study used crash data over a 23-year period and reviewed two-vehicle fatal crashes in which only one driver was at fault. It found:

–Compared to licensed drivers, those with suspended/revoked licenses or unlicensed were 2.6 and 2.73 times more likely to cause a fatal crash.

–The largest percentage of suspended/revoked and unlicensed drivers involved in the two-vehicle crashes reviewed were age 20 to 29.

–For drivers age 19 or younger in such crashes, the percentage unlicensed was almost four times higher than the percentage whose licenses were suspended or revoked.

The report, which looked at data from 1987 to 2009, said the at-fault rate for unlicensed drivers hasn’t changed since a 1994 law that required proof of legal residency to get a driver’s license.

That “suggests that unlicensed drivers who are ineligible to become licensed under this law are just as hazardous as drivers who are unlicensed for other reasons,” the study said.

The report said its findings “strongly justify the use of countermeasures, including vehicle impoundment, to control S/R and unlicensed drivers and to reduce crashes caused by these drivers.”

The DMV noted that a study done in 2002 found that at any given time during that year 1.9 million drivers had suspended or revoked licenses.

To read the report, dated last September, CLICK HERE.


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  1. Jeff

    Nooooooooo, wouldn’t want to impound the cars of those caught driving without licenses…. what a hardship that would be. How would they get their car the next day and continue driving unlicensed?

    January 16th, 2013 12:03 am

  2. scot

    Brilliant study.

    January 16th, 2013 7:43 am

  3. Marc

    And this a surprise to Who! Maybe all those DUI Checks should be increased since they catch more unlicensed drivers than drunks.

    January 16th, 2013 8:08 am

  4. chu

    yes of course. if you fail /ignore the law you are more likely to violate the law. We should also consider that the law for uninsured drivers have their vehicles impounded –

    The cost and loss to government and legal drivers for losses and higher insurance rates .

    I can tell you this is the same in most all countries including mexico (i live their) .

    Firm enforcement for all who violate !!!!

    January 16th, 2013 8:35 am

  5. Frank Bedser

    Am I the only one concerned with this new trend of vehicles equipped with the super bright blue headlights? I’m sure they are great for doing a better job of lighting up the roads for the drivers of these vehicles but are blinding to the rest of us who face an oncoming vehicle or must cope with the blinding light in the rear view mirror. Isn’t there a safety issue involved here?

    January 16th, 2013 9:04 am

  6. Dar

    Remind me again why some are against impounding cars of unlicensed drivers?

    January 16th, 2013 9:19 am

  7. Safedriver

    Our country is now led by a government amok with the worst corruption since our founding. We now have a citizenry bent on anarchy with little hope for redemption.
    ANARCHY; noun; a state in which there is widespread wrongdoing and disregard for rules and authority.
    Near Antonyms: law, law-abidingness, lawfulness, legality, legitimacy, rule; calmness, harmony, order, orderliness, peace, peacefulness, quiet, tranquility. source: Merriam-Webster

    January 16th, 2013 11:03 am

  8. Karen

    Fred, thank you for your comment. I thought I was the only person who felt the “blue lights” are a hazard to other drivers.

    January 16th, 2013 11:06 am

  9. sheryl

    Tell that to local law enforcement, who decided it was mean to impound cars of people they caught driving w/o a license. I hope this changes their mind. I doubt it, because that doesn’t go well with being a sanctuary city.

    January 16th, 2013 11:31 am

  10. 2cents

    Unlicensed drivers are more likely to be in an accident? No kidding! Were we all thinking there was no reason to license drivers? Perhaps we invented drivers licenses just for fun.
    Now, if our police could just start impounding cars and enforcing our licensing laws without being attacked as racists or for being biased against illegal aliens driving illegally. Apparently it is now considered biased against criminals if you enforce laws when they break them.

    January 16th, 2013 11:48 am

  11. Dave T

    Also note that some would argue that the study says “The report, which looked at data from 1987 to 2009, said the at-fault rate for unlicensed drivers hasn’t changed since a 1994 law that required proof of legal residency to get a driver’s license.” But the real question is that how many more undocumented individuals are here. i.e. 2% of 100 is 2. but 2% of 10000 is 200. So what is the volume increase there? Bottom line, if you want to drive, then abide by the laws. If you choose not to, then there are consequences, period. Laws are meant for everyone, whether there is a hardship or not.

    January 16th, 2013 2:18 pm

  12. Rex Faktor

    The ultimate countermeasure is available to us. I’ve mentioned it many times before…just like to throw it out there once in a while in case the right person is reading…

    Gasoline should be a controlled substance and only sold to licensed drivers of registered vehicles. Several different ways to implement this, from intrusive to simply sliding license through pump…but the fact that one can buy a vehicle, buy auto insurance (Cost u Less!), and buy fuel without being legally able to use any of said items is a bit of a joke…

    January 16th, 2013 7:23 pm

  13. Matthew S

    I want to give kudos to Sheryl above…..

    I teach Traffic School. This issue is H-U-G-E in class….would someone in our govt. both local & State get a clue?

    JAIL these folks after 2 or 3 Driving on Suspended. If they kill someone…then JAIL for 10 years – deportation if they aren’t legally here…

    Very Simple – Break the Law – get a PUNISHMENT.

    January 17th, 2013 12:16 am

  14. A thought

    So, instead of taking measures to get them LICENSED so they know the law, you want them to stop driving?

    Get a grip.

    Whether you like it or not, illegals are PEOPLE with FAMILIES. They have to drive to feed their children and pay their rent.

    Don’t start with “ooh deport them.” It’s not going to happen. You’re kidding yourself if you think that’s ever going to happen. They’re not going back to poverty and drug wars.

    Instead of being stupid about this, get them licenses and we can all feel a little bit safer.

    I guess common sense is a lost quality in racists and people who’d rather blame others than take control of their own freaking lives.

    January 17th, 2013 3:56 pm

  15. bunga gunga

    Rex, that’s actually a pretty good idea. someone with a suspended license or no license has no business buying more than a gallon or 2 of gas… lawnmowers, weed eaters. Driving is a privilege not a right and if you can’t follow the rules set in place by our society then you don’t deserve to be driving.

    January 18th, 2013 3:22 pm

  16. sierra sweetie

    To Fred, Rex Facktor and bungagunga:
    I agree 100% with your comments! I used to be a courier in Santa Rosa and Sonoma, and sometimes It would be dark by the time I was done with my route. I’m never stoked about having to drive in the dark and being ‘assaulted’ by those ridiculous blue LED headlights on a regular basis not only made me hate my job but unlike regular lights, it took my eyes somewhat longer to get over that frightening blinding effect from those super bright LEDs. I swear to god whenever I had the misfortune of encountering those headlights, it always felt like my retinas were on fire!! I’m all for decent headlights but those blue ones should most definitely be outlawed!

    January 20th, 2013 2:08 am

  17. Dave T

    @ A thought:

    So let me get this straight, instead of punishing those who willfully and brazenly violate our countries and state’s laws you would prefer to reward them as such, by licensing them “so we can all feel a bit safer.”

    Wow. Really? So if you commit a crime, we should just say, “No problem, here is how you avoid thatin the future, and oh by the way, let’s ignore all the other laws you have broken as well.”

    Get a grip. Until we begin to actually enforce the laws we live under, then we are a joke as a society. Play by the rules and abide by the laws and you have no issues. Fail to do so and you suffer consequences. If you do not like the laws, make a choice, abide by them, move elsewhere or be prepared to suffer consequences if you are caught breaking them.

    January 29th, 2013 1:25 pm

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