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Rural Driving risk

10 February 2012

Road Safety Analysis, specialists in examining road casualty trends, has published new evidence to show that risk levels for young drivers varies according to where they live. The key finding of the report issued on 10 February shows that rural young drivers are 37% more likely to be involved in an injury collision than their urban counterparts. A table comparing risk of collision involvement each year by local authority area also shows the risk rate for young drivers living in each area.

Young drivers throughout the country are already more likely to be involved in a crash with 30% of all motor vehicle drivers involved in collisions  aged between 16 and 29 years old, yet this age group only made up 18% of the population .  This report calculates that young rural drivers are two-thirds more likely to be involved in an injury collision than their older neighbours.

One of the biggest factors in the elevated risk profile is the much higher average annual mileages driven by rural drivers with 31% more miles driver per person than their urban counterparts. This increased exposure, combined with their relative inexperience compared to older drivers, is a signal to rural local authorities and police forces that special attention needs paying to this subject.

The report also considers the level of deprivation and whether this is a factor in young driver crashes.  This was not found to be the case in Rural areas, although it is something seen in large town and cities.  Other analysis within the report compares vehicle types involved in crashes, road type, and speed limits.

One further piece of analysis carried out was to rank young driver risk bases on residency in each of the 379 local authority areas in Great Britain.  This was then used to create a map showing regional hotspots and is included at the end of this release along with the best and worst performing areas.

With the help of this sort of information, Local Authorities can develop a much better understanding of the risks experienced by their residents and road users, helping them to address the inequalities that many people are experiencing.

For a copy of the full results including a breakdown of casualty rates for all 206 highway authorities is available here.

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