There’s a good chance you consider yourself an above average driver.  According to research published by the Association for Psychological Science, most people do – even though it’s statistically impossible for most people to above average at any given task.

This discrepancy could be because people use their own criteria to rank themselves. People who value cautious driving will probably be cautious drivers, and they’ll rank themselves highly for it. Likewise, people who value the ability to get from place to another as fast as possible will do the same. It could also be part of a general tendency to rank oneself as better than average.

Regardless of why it happens, it happens. If you want to know whether or not you’re actually a better than average driver, you need to look at cold, hard data. How often does the average person crash, and how does this compare to how often you crash?

Average Crash Statistics

According to an article published in Forbes, the average person files a claim for a car crash about once every 18 years. Based on this measure, if you’ve been driving for around 18 years, you should have been in about one crash. If you’ve been driving for about 36 years, you should have been in about two crashes.

Of course, dangerous driving doesn’t always result in crash. Sometimes it leads to a ticket. So how many tickets does the average person get?

According to a survey conducted by InsuranceQuotes, one in five Americans got at least one ticket in the last five years. This means 80 percent of drivers – the majority of them, by far – have not received a single ticket in at least five years.

What If You’re Not Average?

If you’ve gotten in more accidents than the average driver, don’t assume it’s just a matter of bad luck. You may be contributing to the crashes, even if they’re not entirely your fault. Likewise, if you’re racking up tickets, you’re probably doing something to catch the attention of police officers. Think about how you can become a safer driver.

  • Always drive sober.
  • Don’t drive distracted.
  • Don’t speed, weave in and out of traffic, tailgate or engage in other risky driving habits.
  • Be aware of other drivers and help them be aware of you. For example, use your turn signal.

If you’ve been in fewer crashes than the average person, you’re probably a pretty safe driver. Don’t relax now, though. Looking at the statistics another way, you might say you’re due for an accident. Continue practicing safe driving habits so you can keep beating the odds.