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Targeted safety measures needed to prevent road deaths among young drivers

26 January 2017

Zero tolerance on drink driving, additional hazard perception training and graduated driver licensing schemes should become the norm in order to help tackle the disproportionate risks faced by young drivers and motorcycle riders in Europe, according to a new report from ETSC and PACTS. Findings include:

  • Biological and social changes between the ages of 15-25 affect the risk perception of young people and lead to an increase in social activity and associated pressure from peers, according to the report. A lack of experience on the road also means that young people are worse at anticipating and reacting to hazards. They are also less aware of how best to drive and ride in particular road conditions and situations.
  • A range of impairments and distractions affect young people, linked to increased social activity, greater exposure to alcohol and drugs, the influence of peer-age passengers and the effects of fatigue. In-car distraction from mobile devices is also a problem.
  • Young people tend to drive smaller and older vehicles. These cars often have a lower crashworthiness and lack the safety technologies featured in newer models. The use of seat belts and protective clothing is also poor amongst young people.
  • In some EU countries up to half of young people killed are motorcycle riders, yet there is a distinct lack of specific measures and research targeting this group.

The report which can be seen here makes a number of key recommendations for urgent action.

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