Road crashes contribute to the highest number of deaths of young people in the UK and worldwide. According to the RAC foundation, one in eight of all road accidents involve a driver aged between 17 and 19; that is an alarming 11.9%. Despite the fact that this age group makes up only 1.5% of the total licensed drivers, the death toll is still high.
Many people blame the reckless behaviour of youngsters when it comes to driving. One in five new drivers has an accident within six months of passing their driving test. This goes on to show that the driving test, although helpful, may not guarantee road safety.
Young drivers are accused of being over-confident while driving. This age group has the ability to pick up concepts fast and once they do, they feel they have mastered it. They may be driving perilously, but think that they are doing great. These folks are enthusiastic and energetic and may not sense danger.
It takes experience and practise to detect risks and hazards on the road. While some hazards may be obvious, others may not be. Young drivers have poor hazard recognition and this makes them a danger for others. They also have poorer attention and concentration, are more prone to texting while driving, and poor avoidance abilities.
They are not risk averse
Apart from being bad at detecting hazards, young drivers are also notorious for happily taking risks. They are not fully aware of the consequences of their actions and hence pose a greater threat to lives as compared to adult drivers. For instance, young drivers are less likely to quote over-speeding as a cause of crashes. Since they are overconfident in their skills, they feel they have a better control of the car when they actually don’t.
Apart from all these reasons, most young drivers do not take the necessary precautions before driving. For instance, the usage of seat belts while driving was found to be low in young people. Research has shown that out of all the casualties of young drivers, only a third of them were found wearing seat belts.
What can be done?
One of the measures that can be taken is increasing the minimum driving age. However, this will create other problems because numerous 17-19 year olds use their own automobiles to commute to work. Some of these make a living out of driving and adopting such a measure will make them lose their livelihood. Alternatively, the government can restrict the driving hours of young drivers but this is difficult to monitor and control. It involves introducing black box technology that comes with a time stamp which shows the time the car was used.
One of the best options available in practice today is to ensure all learner drivers are not only taught to pass their driving test and meet the guidelines but to ensure that safety and awareness is implemented throughout driving lessons.
Bennetts driving school stick by this service and we aim to instil road awareness and what can happen in different scenarios and situations.
Making sure that young drivers are adept at driving before handing over a vehicle to them can greatly reduce the number of casualties caused. For more information on our safety procedures and how we try and maintain this with every pupil please visit your local area: driving lessons in Gloucester, Driving Lessons Cheltenham, Driving lessons Swansea, Driving lessons Cardiff and many other areas through out the UK.