Unlicensed drivers and motorists with suspended or revoked licenses are almost three times as likely to cause a fatal crash than licensed drivers, according to a recent California Department of Motor Vehicles study.
Researchers also found that unlicensed drivers tend to be more hazardous on the road than drivers with suspended or revoked licenses.
The study looked at crash data over a 23-year period and evaluated two-vehicle fatal crashes in which only one driver was at fault. The data showed that the largest percentage of unlicensed drivers involved in fatal crashes were ages 20 to 29. Among drivers age 19 or younger, the percentage who were unlicensed was almost four times higher than the percentage whose licenses were revoked or suspended.
Officials don't know how many unlicensed drivers there are in California because the drivers don't come to the attention of the DMV until they are involved in a crash or convicted of a traffic violation.
A citation for driving on a suspended or revoked license or while unlicensed in California can result in a 30-day vehicle impoundment, thousands of dollars in fines, time added to a suspension period or probation, or revocation of a license.