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New report confirms young driver risk

20 July 2012

Key findings of a report, “Young Drivers at Risk”,  issued by the AA Charitable Trust and the Make Roads Safe campaign confirms that new drivers are most at risk on the roads in the first six months or so after passing their test.

Based on a survey of motorists on the AA/Populus panel who have been involved in car crashes revealed nearly 40 per cent of them had crashed by the time they were 23 years old. The results also showed that a quarter (26%) had crashed within two years of gaining their licence.

Analysis of these drivers’ first crashes shows:

• 23 per cent of 18 -24 year olds had crashed within 6 months of passing their test
• One third of 18-24 year olds have been involved in an accident when driving
• 28 per cent had crashed by the time they were 21 years of age
• First crashes are most likely to happen in the day time – only 13% happen at night
• Most people have their first accident without passengers in the car (63 per cent)
• Bad weather was a factor in 15 per cent of first accidents
• 47 per cent had their first crash on a single carriageway or in a rural area
• 5 per cent of drivers had their first crash on a motorbike.

The report highlights the dangers new and young drivers face on the roads, both at home and abroad, and shows ways their safety can be improved. It also shows ways in which education could be improved for young people, many years before they even think about getting into the driving seat.

The report is yet another piece of evidence which highlights weaknesses in the preparation of young drivers for the road.

As part of its commitment to improving road safety in the UK, the AA Charitable Trust has pledged another 1,000 free driver improvement courses for new drivers at risk.

A recent Expert Meeting held by RoadSafe recommended a range of measures to reduce the risk to young drivers.

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