Young drivers at risk

Nigel Mansell launches joint AA Charitable Trust and Make Roads Safe report into young driver safety

20 July 2012

Nigel Mansell launches joint AA Charitable Trust and Make Roads Safe report into young driver safety

Nigel Mansell launches joint AA Charitable Trust and Make Roads Safe report into young driver safety

The ‘perfect storm’ of circumstances surrounding drivers’ first accidents has been revealed in a new report, launched by Nigel Mansell at the Silverstone Classic.

Key findings of the report centre on a survey of motorists on the AA-Populus* panel who have been involved in car crashes.

Drivers who had been involved in a crash revealed that nearly 40 per cent of them had crashed by the time they were 23 years old.

The results also show that a quarter (26%) of those who are involved in a crash have crashed within two years of gaining their licence.

Young drivers at risk (pdf)

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First crashes:

  • 23 per cent of 18 -24 year olds who had been involved in a crash 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 of those who had been involved in a crash had crashed by the time they were 21 years of age
  • First crashes are most likely to happen in the day time - only 13 per cent 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.

Young drivers at risk

Young drivers at risk

Compiled jointly by the AA Charitable Trust and the Make Roads Safe campaign, during the United Nation’s Decade of Action for Road Safety, the report will be launched at AA World at the Silverstone Classic.

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.

Drive Confident and Drive Smart are both taught by AA Driving School instructors and help nervous, lapsed or over-confident drivers update their skills to stay safe on the roads.

These courses are partly funded by a grant from the FIA Foundation. The grant is also being used to create a template for the courses so other motoring organisations can implement similar schemes worldwide.

While road deaths among the young remain a serious problem here in the UK, in many parts of the world they have become nothing less than a crisis out of control

Nigel Mansell

Crisis out of control

Nigel Mansell, a Member of the Commission for Global Road Safety, said: “I became a world champion by driving fast. I love cars and racing. But I know the place for speed is on a race track, not on the road.

“While road deaths among the young remain a serious problem here in the UK, in many parts of the world they have become nothing less than a crisis out of control.

“Someone is being killed or maimed every six seconds.  It is an epidemic that is set to double within the next few years unless we take action.

“This is a vitally important issue which doesn’t get enough attention. Too many of our young people are still being killed or injured on the roads. These are preventable tragedies.”

The report calls for young drivers to be given more opportunities to drive in a safe, off-road environment before they turn 17. Almost three quarters (73%) of UK motorists believe this would make young drivers safer.

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.

By the age of 17 attitudes towards driving will already have been largely formed. If teenagers have had interesting and practical road safety education they are less likely to take dangerous risks when they get behind the wheel alone

Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust

Comment

Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, said: “It’s no secret that new and young drivers are disproportionately represented in road crashes and we need to work together to stem this tide of carnage.

“Road safety education must be a life skill that starts at the age of three but is continually refreshed throughout life. It needs to begin many years before someone is old enough to apply for their provisional licence.

“Our survey shows one quarter of 18-24 year olds who have had a crash had crashed within six months of taking their test. We must change this. By the age of 17 attitudes towards driving will already have been largely formed. If teenagers have had interesting and practical road safety education they are less likely to take dangerous risks when they get behind the wheel alone.

“We must also remember that when driving, practical training counts for nothing if the driver is impaired through drink, drugs and driver distractions such as mobile phones.

“Road crashes are not only the  leading cause of death and injury for young people in the UK, but also across the world.  We need safer drivers in safer cars on safer roads, to reduce these preventable deaths in the UK and across the globe.”

(updated 7 August 2013)


*19,284 drivers were surveyed 22 – 30 May 2012, out of which 14,229 said that they had been involved in an accident while driving.

The AA and Make Roads safe support the Zenani Mandela campaign, created in memory of Nelson Mandela’s great granddaughter killed in road crash at the age of 13.