Lion of the Blogosphere

What are middle-aged men good at? Driving!

A commenter recently asked, “what are middle-aged men good at?”

The answer is driving without getting into an injury-causing accident.

Most charts that look at accident rates don’t adjust by the number of miles driven, so they tend to give results that favor women and seniors who drive fewer miles (because it’s the working-age man who drives to work every day, putting himself at risk of injury or death).

However this chart shows us the correct answer, that men aged 40-59 are the safest drivers.

* * *

My interpretation of this chart.

I believe that reflexes and quick thinking peak around the age of 20. However, middle-aged men benefit from accumulated driving experience, as well as being more cautious and more responsible (as in obeying traffic laws, wearing seatbelts, not driving while drunk). These attributes which cause middle-aged men to be safer drivers may be called wisdom.

Past the age of 60, however, reflexes and quick thinking really start to take a nosedive, and therefore driving safety decreases as men age beyond 60. Plus some of the oldest drivers are suffering from early Alzheimer’s disease which may cause them to be less cautious and responsible.

* * *

Self-driving cars will drive more safely than middle-aged men, so in just a few years, this one thing that middle-aged men are good at will become obsolete.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 3, 2017 at 1:22 pm

Posted in Males and Females

25 Responses

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  1. Yet another reason for you to consider a career in long-haul trucking.

    Ice Hole

    April 3, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    • At least one programmer has quit to become a trucker. He ended up starting a trucking company and doing very well.

      JW Bell

      April 3, 2017 at 4:12 pm

  2. Some dangerous drivers are men in 60s who were bad-ass drivers for most of their lives. They are mentally alert but not aware yet that their physical reflexes have declined even though they are mentally alert.


    April 3, 2017 at 1:51 pm

  3. reflexes peak sharply at 30, then they decay sharply

    30yos are much quicker than 20yos, it takes a lot of time to get used to your body after puberty


    April 3, 2017 at 2:15 pm

  4. If you’re ever charged with a serious crime or suffer a serious personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, I doubt you’ll want anyone but a middle-aged man representing you. We’re now 35+ years into the age of law schools being heavily female (my T-14 was 49% girl in 1980) and there still are no great women trial lawyers. Same goes for surgery. Who’s the female Denton Cooley? Men are the noticers of facts. When AGW gets debunked, you think it’ll be on the strength of data dug up or analyzed by a woman? While men probably do have better reaction mechanisms to avoid accidents, crash stats can never be used to compare men and women on driving ability because they have different distraction factors, men being less likely to constantly check their phone for new tweets.


    April 3, 2017 at 2:56 pm

  5. “However this chart shows us the correct answer, that men aged 40-59 are the safest drivers.”

    Also the best career earning point

    Lion o' the Turambar

    April 3, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    • men aged 40-59…Also the best career earning point

      Yes, if one, like LotB has clearly noted, gets on one of the few real, lucrative, upward career tracks. Unfortunately for me, my career track started out wonderfully but started to fall apart in my mid-30s due to a couple of layoffs and blown opportunities, the “Great Recession,” and crushing competition. My salary has been flat since 1998.

      E. Rekshun

      April 3, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      • “one of the few real, lucrative, upward career tracks”

        regardless of your career field or track, mid-aged is probably your prime time.

        In fact I think I’ll strengthen my statement- middle aged men are probably the biggest contributors to society of any group.

        – they are likely to have the highest earned income of any group and hence pay the most in taxes.
        – more likely to be doing productive work than women. Women are usually more interested in the meetings and managing than productivity.
        – very little external cost to society in the median- few car chases, no doctors visits
        – positive contribution to the community. Old women probably beat them out but middle aged men are very positive. Coaches, boy scout troop leaders, church ushers, Kiwanis, and volunteer mentors are almost always middle aged men. Middle aged and younger women put in a ton of volunteer hours but they are usually on something moronic, or else a cause that is net injurious to society.

        Lion o' the Turambar

        April 3, 2017 at 8:34 pm

  6. If you look at the chart you’ll see that experience is acquired by the age of 25. Interestingly, there’s a slight spike in accidents for women in their 40’s. I shall not speculate.

    And just to show the HBD angle…

    Bad drivers may in part have their genes to blame, suggests a new study by UC Irvine neuroscientists.


    April 3, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    • HBD angle:

      “Australian Veterans Health Studies O’Toole and Stankov (1992) used IQ at induction into the military, along with 56 other psychological, behavioral, health, and demographic variables, to predict noncombat deaths by age 40 among 2,309 Australian veterans. When all other variables were statistically controlled, each additional IQ point predicted a 1% decrease in risk of death. Also, IQ was the best predictor of the major cause of death, motor vehicle accidents. Vehicular death rates doubled and then tripled at successively lower IQ ranges (100–115, 85–100, 80–85; O’Toole, 1990).”

      Horace Pinker

      April 3, 2017 at 5:21 pm

  7. Next question: Are men better drivers than women?


    April 3, 2017 at 4:04 pm

  8. What makes people safe when driving is their ability to anticipate and avoid situations that require quick reaction or thinking, not the ability to do those things. The similar rates between 20 year old and 70 year old drivers is probably more attributable to lower ability to avoid distractions.


    April 3, 2017 at 4:25 pm

  9. What are middle-aged men good at? Driving!

    Excellent post!

    This should entitle middle-aged men to much lower auto insurance rates; and I think it does. Accrding to Wikipedia’s reference to the US Census definition of middle-aged, I’m middle-aged. I pay $50/month to fully insure a late model Ford F150 crew cab. A 28-year old female coworker was just complaining to me that she pays $150/mo for the lowest basic coverage for her 1999 Toyota Camry. I also have a very high credit score so, if auto insurers are still allowed to use that, then that might help; plus I get a 5% discount for being a homeowner, a 5% discount for having a Masters degree, and a 5% discount for being a low-mileage driver.

    Middle-aged men are probably good at cunnilingus, or at least better than younger and older men. But one might not first guess that by looking at Wikipedia’s definition for the act.

    E. Rekshun

    April 3, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    • Steve Sailer suggested that a lot of things should be based on your credit score, and I agree with him. Credit rating agencies have a very accurate idea of who is at risk for what. It will never happen though. Racist, sexist, homophobic, you name it.


      April 4, 2017 at 2:02 pm

  10. In the last 15-20 years it’s been my observation that women, especially young women, have become every bit as aggressive as male drivers, if not more so. The combination of being told that they’re better drivers combined with the you go grrrllll mentality has created a bunch of drivers who think that the world had better get out of their way because they’ve got places to be and are more important than the other motorists on the road.

    Sgt. Joe Friday

    April 3, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    • @Sgt Joe,

      “every bit as aggressive” — agree 100%. Not only that but aggressive in general. I don’t drive a lot. I walk the mean streets of NYC a lot, though, and I see that.

      If I were a man I’d find such female aggression to be a turnoff. As it is, I really hate it.


      April 4, 2017 at 2:00 pm

  11. There is data in the UK that elderly drivers are the least likely to be involved in fatal collisions with pedestrians and cyclists.


    April 3, 2017 at 5:36 pm

  12. The car insurance industry doesn’t charge young men more for insurance than women because they can get away with it, if it was truly cheaper to insure young men they would compete for a lower price.

    There is no doubt women get into more accidents than men, that was never a question. But they mostly get into small time accidents.

    When men get into accidents they kill or horribly injure someone or themselves which is way more costly.


    April 3, 2017 at 7:05 pm

  13. Yakov

    April 4, 2017 at 1:39 am

  14. Would be nice if they could add error bars, but they are probably small because of a very large sample size. By looking at the plot I can conclude that mental decline in women correlates with fertility decline. When they hit 40, the gap between men and women widens. I remember reading the article describing GRE scores decline faster with age in women vs. men. I believe it was not a verbal sub score. This is also in agreement with everyone’s personal observation. You can trust or not trust someone else’s data, but you can certainly trust your personal observation, especially if you can tell reality from imaginary.

    My Two Cents

    April 4, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    • I’d trust data more than personal observation which tends to be very biased.

      • The data is someone else’s personal observation.

        My Two Cents

        April 4, 2017 at 7:09 pm

  15. “Self-driving cars will drive more safely than middle-aged men, so in just a few years, this one thing that middle-aged men are good at will become obsolete.”

    Trust Lion to wrench bad news out of good! I’m tellin ya, Lion, self-driving cars will never be a real deal. It’s a scam.


    April 4, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    • A Shabbat elevator is a good example of 1D self-driving car, with a self driving train being a horizontal version of the Shabbat elevator).

      My Two Cents

      April 4, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      • I really dont’ think so.


        April 5, 2017 at 2:09 pm

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