Young Driver Deaths

2 in 3 new drivers already touched by road tragedies

28 October 2010

Teens say they themselves must act to cut young driver deaths

Two-thirds of teens already know someone who has been killed or injured in a road crash by the time they reach the driving age, a new study reveals.

67% of 16 and 17 year olds know at least one road casualty – with one in five (22%) saying they know three or more.

By their 18th birthday, one in 10 (11%) have themselves been in a crash involving injury or death. Most believe young people themselves hold the key to cutting casualties, according to research by the AA* to support a pioneering scheme to tackle crashes among new drivers.

The AA carried out the study to support Drive iQ PRO**, a BTEC qualification in driver training designed to help new drivers build safer attitudes and behaviour.

A test pass in itself does not guarantee a safe attitude behind the wheel Over two-thirds (69%) of 16-25 year olds said young people and their peers have the biggest role to play in preventing young road casualties – as opposed to the Government (7%) and parents (10%).

Asked for the best solutions, 37% pointed to further training on aspects such as motorway, night or wet weather driving; while another third (30%) said road safety should be added to the school curriculum.

Comment

AA Driving School director Simon Douglas says: "Road tragedies have hit young social networks right across the country. These same networks influence attitudes and behaviour, which are the true causes of many crashes involving young drivers.

"Young people are clear that it's up to them to act and that better learning is key. A test pass in itself does not guarantee a safe attitude behind the wheel, and it's this potentially fatal gap that we now aim to help young drivers to bridge."

Nick Rowley, chief executive of a2om, the online software supplier behind Drive iQ PRO, adds: "Research shows that 19 out of 20 crashes are contributed to by human factors. Tackling these calls for a new approach towards learning to drive.

Drive iQ PRO prepares pupils for a safer future on the road by not only training them to master the controls and manoeuvres, but also coaching them through the way they think, feel and behave towards driving."

Case Study

Catherine Poole, 18, of South West London signed up for Drive iQ PRO after her school community was rocked by a serious car crash involving a group of pupils. The four teenagers cheated death when the car they were in collided with another at night, in wet weather.

The school challenged pupils to think about road safety and recommended Drive iQ PRO. Catherine has now passed her driving test through the course and is preparing for the post-test unit on night and motorway driving.

"I'm definitely glad I did it," says Catherine who is now exploring the post-test insurance benefits. "Without the deal through Drive iQ PRO, my parents would have added me to their insurance – but that was going to cost £7,000. Doing the course means I can now get a car plus insurance for less than that!"

* National survey for the AA/Drive iQ PRO, carried out by online research agency OnePoll, responded to by 2,000 people aged 16 to 25 between 30 September and 4 October 2010.

**Drive iQ PRO is a BTEC qualification, equivalent in level to a GCSE, accredited by Edexcel. It combines state-of-the-art online learning with practical in-car tuition and complements normal driving lessons. The final unit is taken post-test and includes motorway and night driving. The course was developed in conjunction with leading universities, including the Driver Behaviour Centre at Cranfield University, to produce safer drivers by addressing attitudes and behaviour that can lead to crashes. People taking Drive iQ PRO are eligible for exclusive insurance deals (through Drive IQ PRO), both as learners and post-test, in recognition of the course's role in helping young drivers avoid crashes.

AA Driving School is the preferred national partner for in-car tuition provided as part of the Drive iQ PRO programme.

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1 November 2010