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.”

Disqus - noscript

Sorry - please do the maths correctly before choosing your headline. Your article suggests 17-19 year olds are AT the greatest risk, not that they represent a risk to others. Demonising young drivers is part of the problem.
The next part of the problem is failure to place the data in proper context. For example, of the accidents in the stats, how many were exclusively caused by the driving ability of a 17-19 year old, rather than driving ability of surrounding drivers, attitude or behaviour of other surrounding drivers, influence of drink or drugs, road conditions, distraction by music or passengers in the car, etc. etc.
And already everyone has moved on to "what to do about those pesky teens".
However, the GDL is a great idea. Similar to rating on type in a pilot's license, it would ensure a driver cannot pass their test on day one, and purchase and drive a V12 Aston Martin the next. Makes perfect sense.

We have such a scheme for motorcycles, but much simplified to make it manageable. It's called Direct Access (DAS).

As for the rest of your comment, the risk is still risk regardless of the cause. The article talks about risk, you are talking about cause, two different things.

No sh*t sherlock.

This is ridiculous and your choice of statistics are appalling. Wouldn't it be better if you used actual numbers rather than grossly misleading statistics. In places like Powys and the Grampians, one accident can distort annual injury statistics grossly.
The UK is the third safest place int he world to drive and the safest large nation on the roads. There are just 3.6 fatalities for every billion KM travelled. There is no epidemic of teenage carnage on the roads and reducing injuries and fatalities significantly from their already low numbers will be very expensive both in money and loss of liberty.

I hope and pray that you and nobody else are affected by one of these accidents, remembering that fatalities are not the only outcome, there are many injuries, some severe and permanent that are not counted in your 3.6.

Without costing too much money and liberty there are ways to improve safety further. We only need to alter culture a bit, and make some of the things, that the more stupid actually admire, to be considered anti-social and uncool. Much in the way that nowadays everybody considers a drink driver to be a complete moron, the same could be applied to some of the bad driving habits that these more stupid people are impressed by.

The best driver on the road is the one that gets on with the journey whilst keeping the biggest margin from any danger. Not the one that gets in front.

I agree with what you have said - however imposing a curfew on young adults is a serious loss of liberty for minimal gain. aMuch better approach would be to invest in making them better drivers.

there are still moron drivers on the roads but they are a small minority.
I drive to and from Birmingham every day. I travel with hundreds of thousands of fellow road users and although i do see the occasional moron, it is rare. The biggest threat on the roads are people who's concentration has lapsed or they have been distracted by things happening around them. They may have the best intentions but life happens.

I firmly believe that most accidents today weather or not they result in injury, are just that, accidents. We need to stop obsessing over things we can't change and look at the reality of the threat.

I personally would far rather have the M6/42 camera budget spent on a new ambulance fleet or more nurses in local hospitals. This would have a far greater impact on Safeguarding life and injury.

I don't agree with the nigh-time curfew idea particularly, but I do think novice drivers should have restrictions on the number of passengers they can carry early in their driving careers. I work for the Police and I've lost count of the number of fatal accidents I've attended where cars full of teenagers have gone off the road or collided with other vehicles: Combined often with excessive speed, the different handling characteristics of a fully loaded vehicle can often catch the inexperienced driver out, with very sad consequences.

How about making sure everyone over 50 is tested every 2 years as well then? they are the ones always up your backside, they are the ones always speeding on the motorway. They were also never taught properly, no theory test and all they had to do was drive up the road and back. How many accidents are caused by over 50's? I bet it closer to 30%