Young drivers’ road traffic statistics focus of EU Safety Day

August 6, 2012

British roads have long been known to be twice as dangerous to young people as those in older age groups. Now, the European Commission has recognised similar statistics elsewhere in the European Union by having staged a European Road Safety Day on July 25th.

Traffic accidents are the largest single cause of fatalities and serious injuries to those people in the 18 to 25 year age bracket.

These accidents not only devastate young lives but can be the source of injuries to other people who are innocently caught up in an accident which was not their own fault.

In 2010 alone, there were just over 30,000 people killed in road accidents across the EU, and 20% of this number were people aged 18 to 25, although they only formed 10% of the total population.

Worse statistics have been revealed about the gender of those involved in road traffic accidents. Of those people who were car drivers, 40% of the fatalities involved young people in the same age bracket, with 80% of the total killed being male and the rest female.

A breakdown of the statistics revealed that the majority of fatalities Europe wide were car drivers (66%), with motorcyclists also strongly represented (20%). The number of pedestrians (2%), cyclists (8%) and other road users such as bus passengers was relatively small, although the actual risks involved were probably higher.

The EU Commission’s statistics do not reveal who was to blame for the accidents and whether there is any difference between age and gender when considering the fault of the person who caused the accident.

It is fortunately not all doom and gloom, however, as the trend for road accident fatalities is apparently on the decline. The fatality rate has actually declined faster amongst young people overall between 2001 to 2010 than amongst older people. There has been a 49% reduction in the fatality rate for young people involved in road traffic accidents, while the corresponding figure for older people was 43%.

The EU Commission’s Vice President, who represents transport issues in Europe said that the commission was pushing ahead with safety messages to try and get the traffic accident fatality figures down further.

Despite the negative publicity about compensation claims here in Britain and the tendency in the media to portray personal injury claims as being excessive, solicitors will argue that successful compensation claims won when a road traffic accident victim has been injured help to reduce the accident rate as the thought of having to pay out compensation payments to victims of one’s own carelessness does help to influence the way in which many people drive.