The IAM Motoring Trust in Britain has recently proposed 10 recommendations for making young drivers safer. This proposal follows an analysis in the UK of almost a quarter of a million road collisions (resulting in injury or death) between 2000 and 2006. The circumstances of crashes involving young drivers were then compared to older drivers. The analysis confirmed previous study results: for example, younger drivers are at greater risk in older cars, when driving with passengers, on Friday and Saturday nights, on rural roads and often where no other cars are involved.
The IAM’s proposed package of measures are:
- Encourage more understanding of driving in a wider range of road conditions where novice drivers are most at risk, including at night, in poor visibility and poor weather, and on rural roads.
- Prepare learner drivers better for driving solo or with passengers by making them more aware of where and when they are most likely to crash.
- Integrate road safety education in core school curriculum subjects so that young people develop a self-taught awareness of the risks and responsibilities of using the roads as drivers, riders and as passengers.
- Guide parents on how to help their children become safer drivers through additional, supervised driving practice in the family car.
- Persuade insurance companies to recognise that additional driving practice with a parent before taking the test is low risk, and to set premiums accordingly.
- Identify the minority of young and inexperienced (mostly male) drivers exhibiting dangerous driving behaviour through corrective education and training.
- Target police enforcement at the reckless, unlicensed and/or uninsured minority of young drivers, to find them and to get them off the road.
- Place greater emphasis on training and improvement before the driving test, and after it, ensuring that this covers the full range of roads and conditions new drivers have to deal with.
- Make roads themselves more forgiving of novice drivers’ mistakes by investing in features such as skid-resistant surfaces and crash barriers, and removing potentially lethal roadside objects.
- Incentivise the take-up of technologies such Electronic Stability Control in the new cars of today that will be driven by young people in the years to come.
See the IAM Motoring Trust’s website at http://www.iam.org.uk/motoringtrust/ for further details (Latest News: “Safe drivers are made, not born”).