Young driver deaths not just about age

JonathanJune 5, 2014

The amount of young people between the ages of 17 and 24 years old has fallen significantly in the last few years, though a number of factors could be having an affect.

A report from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and charity Brake has found that there has been a ten per cent drop in the number of young people being killed on Britain's roads since 2012. However, this is down to a combination of factors such as a general improvement in road safety, less young people passing the driving test and ongoing campaigns, rather than just people are being more careful.

The IAM's research also indicated that the recession could be having an impact as fewer people are able to afford their own car when they are young and inexperienced on the roads, especially when the price of insurance is taken into account.

Younger people are more likely to travel with passengers of a similar age, but their risk of having an accident increases with every extra person in their car. 

Citing a study from the US, the analysis from Brake and the IAM said that a young driver's chances of being killed rise by 44 per cent when they have a passenger riding with them. However, this leaps to 90 per cent when two people accompany them and 300 per cent if there are three or more passengers in the car with them.

In 2012, 133 drivers aged 17-24 were killed alongside 71 young passengers, which is a drop from 148 in the previous year with 93 young passengers. However, the IAM argue that this is still far too high.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "Road safety has been improving for everyone in the UK in recent years and that is reflected in the improved situation for new drivers.  But, it's worrying that our younger people are still at such high risk of causing death and injury to themselves. These figures show an urgent need to improve awareness of the risks for younger drivers and their passengers."

"In the meantime parents and young people should follow the IAM's tips for young passengers to maximise the chances of survival."


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