Teenage drivers represent high risk on the road

Ban on passengers for young drivers
27 May, 2014 5:20pm Chris Ebbs

Research finds that one in eight accidents involving injury involve a driver aged 17-19

According to research by the RAC Foundation, teenage drivers are involved in almost one in eight road traffic accidents that involve injury.

The survey, commissioned by the RAC foundation and carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), covered five years of nationwide statistics and found that 11.9 per cent of all road casualties injured or killed in collisions, involved a driver aged 17-19.

This is despite motorists aged between 17 and 19 making up just 1.5 per cent of licensed drivers across Great Britain.

The percentage of casualties involving younger drivers was highest in the Dyfed Powys area of Wales at almost one in five (18.2 per cent).

This was followed by Gwent in Wales at 17 per cent, Cumbria and North Wales at 15.8 per cent and the Grampian regions of Scotland coming in at 15.7 per cent.

Greater London represented the lowest proportion of accidents involving driver between 17-19 at 5.6 per cent, though increased public transport and lower car ownership goes some way to explaining the small number.

The research also looked at how a Graduated Driving Licence (GDL) scheme could help lower the number of drivers injured and killed were it implemented across the UK.

Based on the experiences of other countries where GDL is in operation, the TRL concluded that 4,500 fewer people would be hurt in an average year, including 430 that would be killed or seriously injured.

The typical GDL would put restrictions on newly qualified drivers including the number of passengers they can carry as well as a nighttime curfew.

However, Richard King, founder and CEO of Ingenie insurance, which uses telematics, has criticised the use of night-time restictions.

“Restricting the freedom of young drivers doesn’t educate about road safety; it actually breeds resentment. How can an 18 year old bar manager – or parent, or part-time student – manage their commitments around a curfew? They can’t,” he said.

“And what about the serious effect that a driving curfew would have on our already cut-stricken police force? Enforcing new night-time driving legislation based on age would be a nightmare that distracts police from attending emergencies and clamping down on the big issues such as uninsured drivers.”