Radical steps, including a minimum one year period for learning and night time driving restrictions as well as reducing the alcohol allowance when driving, are required immediately in order to decrease the crash risk that young drivers are currently facing. Vehicle insurance costs need to be reduced as well, according to a report published this week by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
In Britain, only 12 percent of those who hold driving licences are 25 or less, but 33 percent who die while out on our roads are under 25. A driver at 18 years old is more than three times as likely to become involved in a crash as a driver who is 48 years old.
The report titled ‘Improving the Safety of Young Drivers’ offers more proof to suggest why quick action is necessary to assist young drivers. The ABI research highlights that around 27 percent of personal injury claims which were for more than £500,000 was due to an accident which involved a driver between 17-24 years.
The ABI is asking for the following to take place in order to bring about improvements in the safety record of younger drivers:
• A learning period of a minimum of 12 months so that young drivers can benefit from more practice under supervision.
• A complete ban on participating in an intensive driving programme as the only way to learn to drive.
• The decreasing of the age when young people can begin learning to drive to 161/2 years.
• Driver license restrictions, which should include the number of of younger drivers that a young driver can take as passengers in the first 6 months after the driving test has been passed. This is taking into consideration that the accident risk rises significantly when there are young passengers travelling in the car.
Also, in the first six month period, there should be restrictions on young drivers who wish to drive after 11pm at night and up to 4am in the morning. Drivers who are working and students leaving early or returning late from studies would be exempt.
While in this graduating stage there would be a lower blood alcohol or a zero limit to prevent misuse.
Otto Thoresen, who is the Director General of ABI, said there are too many young lives lost on our roads, particularly those aged 17 to 24. He says that a car is can be a dangerous weapon, and more has to be done to ensure that young drivers are really educated about the dangers of driving. Any improvements could see a drop in insurance premiums which is always a bonus to anyone.