The Co-operative Insurance & Brake Launch New Incentive to Cut Young Driver Deaths

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Every week 13 young people aged 15-25 die on Britain's roads* - that's the equivalent of an entire football team and substitutes.

The number of young people killed on our roads each year continues to paint a very worrying picture. We believe that education aimed at young drivers is key to reducing the number of young people killed on our roads. We want to empower as many young adults from across the spectrum of our society with the awareness they need to stay alive on the roads.

Every week 13 young people aged 15-25 die on Britain's roads* - that's the equivalent of an entire football team and substitutes.

In a continued joint effort to address these shocking statistics The Co-operative Insurance and Brake, the national road safety charity, have today launched an initiative to help cut the shocking number of deaths among young people on the roads.

The 2 Young 2 Die website http://www.2young2die.org.uk not only highlights the deadly results of bad driving it also provides an opportunity for much wider groups of young people and individuals to learn about the carnage caused by bad driving and find out why safe driving is crucial.

Road crashes remain the leading cause of death for young people. Many young drivers take extreme risks such as overtaking on blind corners, speeding and driving while drunk or drugged, and gamble with their own lives and the lives of their friends and other drivers.

The 2 Young 2 Die website provides an opportunity for young people to see and learn about the impact caused by bad driving and to find out why safe driving is so crucial. The site contains first-hand accounts of the horrors of road crashes from people who have been bereaved or seriously injured and includes sections on speeding, drink and drug driving, driving whilst tired, driving distractions, not wearing a seat belt and vehicle maintenance. The site is been specifically designed so it can be used within a classroom environment, by individuals and within groups such as youth offender institutions.

David Neave, Director of General Insurance at Co-operative Insurance, said: "The number of young people killed on our roads each year continues to paint a very worrying picture. We believe that education aimed at young drivers is key to reducing the number of young people killed on our roads. We want to empower as many young adults from across the spectrum of our society with the awareness they need to stay alive on the roads."
Mary Williams OBE, Brake Chief Executive, said: "Deaths and serious injuries of young people in cars devastate families and communities and it is our fervent hope that the site will save lives by giving young people the knowledge and awareness they desperately need to make safe choices. We urge young people, teachers and parents to visit the site and use it. It could make the difference between a young driver driving drunk or speeding this weekend and killing all of their friends, or everyone making it safely home."
David Neave added: "We are delighted to have been able to work with Brake to produce the 2 Young 2 Die website which builds on the success of the 2 Young 2 Die schools educational resource pack. This initiative provides an ideal opportunity to target and educate a much wider number of those most at risk - the young and inexperienced. We want to encourage young people to act responsibly as drivers and passengers".

The 2 Young 2 Die website will also be used extensively in the Brake Academy, which trains professionals and individuals to deliver FREE road safety presentations to teenagers.

Notes for editors:

  •     *2007 statistics from Department for Transport. Road Crashes GB.
  •     Since its launch the 2 Young 2 Die Education Resource Pack has been distributed to an estimated audience of 668,000 young people. In addition, to y 74,000 of the 2 Young to 2 Die booklets to young people. The DVDs and booklets have been distributed through a combination of educational presentations delivered by Brake Ambassadors, the Brake Road Safety Academy and by teachers arranging to show the DVD to students in lesson time.

Case Studies:
Nick Bennett tells his story. Nick set off to work and came up behind two slow vehicles. He pulled out to overtake and crashed into a three-tonne lorry. His brain stem was severely twisted in the crash, affecting his mobility, speech and nervous system. He now uses a wheelchair and can only walk with a frame.
Nick says: "I was just an average 18 year-old bloke - I loved playing football, going out with my mates and driving my car. Now I can't do any of those things. I used to regularly take risks while driving - speeding, racing my mates, overtaking dangerously - and never thought much of it. Then one day I really paid for my stupidity. Now I'm in a wheelchair and need help with most day-to-day tasks. Please learn from my mistakes - don't think you can get away with being an idiot behind the wheel without suffering the consequences."

Nursery nurse Emma Greathead was just 18 when she accepted a lift with friends and died in a head-on crash. Her mother Sarah, who features on the 2 Young 2 Die DVD, said: "Emma's car broke down and, along with her best friend, she accepted a lift with two young lads that she knew. The car they were in crashed head-on with another car as the driver pulled out to overtake. Four people died including my daughter. It is impossible to describe the pain of losing my young daughter in such a cruel and sudden way. The memories come flooding back every time I hear on the news of young drivers and passengers dying in car crashes. Too many young people see driving as thrilling and a bit of a laugh and often give in to peer pressure to take risks. I urge every driver to take responsibility for their actions behind the wheel and pledge to drive safely every single day."

The Co-operative Insurance
The Co-operative Insurance (CIS) insures almost three quarters of a million motor vehicles and is committed to improving road safety for everyone. CIS forms part of Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) which is an Industrial and Provident Society, CFS brings together The Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) and The Co-operative Bank under common leadership. It is owned by the Co-operative Group (CWS) Limited, which is, in turn, the largest consumer co-operative in the UK, democratically run for the benefit of its members. The Co-operative Insurance also offer other services including home insurance.

In 2008 The Co-operative Financial Services was awarded the prestigious title of Company of the Year in the Business in the Community's Awards for Excellence.

The awards identify and celebrate companies having a positive impact on the community, environment, marketplace and workplace. Peer-assessed and independently assured the Big Tick award is the most respected endorsement of responsible business practice. Now in their eleventh year, they are the UK's leading Awards for responsible business practice.

Brake http://www.brake.org.uk:
Brake is an independent national road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the eight deaths and 79 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake produces educational road safety literature, runs community training programmes and runs events including Road Safety Week http://www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk
Brake's Fleet Safety Forum provides up-to-date fleet safety resources to fleet managers. BrakeCare, Brake's support division, cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

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