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What causes accidents?

First, some facts

  • Nearly 11,000 passengers aged 16 to 19 were killed or injured in accidents in 2004.1
  • 151 teenage drivers were killed on the roads in 2003.2
  • Speeding is a contributory factor in over 30% of accidents.3

Photo: Car Crash Road accidents can happen to anyone, not just new drivers. And they do happen everywhere, every day – even to the most careful drivers.

Newly qualified drivers are more likely to have accidents, simply because they are less experienced. One in five new drivers has some sort of crash in their first year of driving.4

Don't worry – here are plenty of things you can do to reduce the risk.

Buckle up

Wear your seat belt, even if you're just popping down the road to the shops. Accidents happen at very low speeds too.

Buckling up reduces the risk of death by 45 to 50%!5

No need to speed

A staggering 70% of drivers admit to speeding, which is especially dangerous in busy and built-up areas.6

If you're in a car with someone who is going too fast, just tell them you're feeling sick. No one wants to have someone throw up over their dashboard.

Cheers for not drinking

Everyone knows about 'Never drink and drive', and yet there were over 15,000 drink-drive casualties in total in 2004.7 There is only one way out, just keep to the iron rule and get a lift when you want to drink.

Say no to pressure

It's fine to give people a lift home if you feel okay and safe about it, but don't let friends pressure you into packing in five people late at night. Call them a taxi or let them take the bus.

Switch on

There are enough distractions on the road as it is. Fiddling with the stereo, eating, texting or chatting on the phone all take up more of your concentration than you might realise. So switch off and switch on.

1 Brake – Young drivers: The hard facts
2 Ibid
3 Think! Dept of Transport
4 Ibid
5 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
6 Think! Dept of Transport
7 Ibid

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