Young drivers

Title: Reducing Casualties Involving Young Drivers and Riders in Europe

Organisation: Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety
Date uploaded: 2nd February 2017
Date published/launched: December 2016

Zero tolerance on drink driving, additional hazard perception training and graduated forms of licensing should become the norm to help tackle the disproportionate risks faced by young drivers, according to this report, which was produced as part of the YEARS (Young Europeans Acting for Road Safety) project.

The report sets out a number of other recommendations for urgent action, including: better enforcement of speed and drink-drive limits, seat belt wearing and mobile phone use; encouraging more accompanied driving; and enabling and encouraging young people to use safer cars.

More than 3,800 young people (aged 18-24 years) were killed on EU roads in 2013 the biggest single cause of death for this age group. Young riders are particularly at risk, with deaths for moped riders peaking between the ages of 15 and 17 years and for motorcycle riders between 18 and 24 years.

The report acknowledges that the UK has a good overall road safety record but says, as in many other European countries, young motorcyclists and drivers form a disproportionately high percentage of deaths.

The report says that biological and social changes between the ages of 15-25 years affect the risk perception of young people. It says a lack of experience on the road also means that young drivers are worse at anticipating and reacting to hazards, and less aware of how best to drive and ride in particular road conditions and situations.

The report notes that young people tend to drive smaller and older vehicles which often have a lower crashworthiness star rating, and lack the safety technologies that feature in newer models.

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