Young drivers: Overconfidence and inexperience puts lives on the line

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Seventy-one per cent of young drivers think they are better than the average driver, according to survey by Vision Critical and road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).1 Yet they are 2.5 times more likely to be involved in a serious crash.

Seventy-one per cent of young drivers think they are better than the average driver, according to survey by Vision Critical and road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).1 Yet they are 2.5 times more likely to be involved in a serious crash.

Britain’s most confident young drivers are in Northern Ireland where 87 per cent think they are better than average, yet they make up 26 per cent of those involved in crashes.2

Britain’s least confident young drivers are from Wales where 56 per cent think they are better than average.

Other findings include:

  • 75 per cent of young male drivers think that they are better than average driver
  • 68 per cent of young women think they are better than average driver

Contrary to the confidence of younger drivers, official figures show that:

  • While 8 per cent of drivers are under 25, they account for 22 per cent of drivers involved in serious injury and fatal crashes. They also drive, on average, about half the distance of older drivers each year.
  • Nearly a quarter of all car drivers (133 out of 542 drivers) who died in 2012 were young drivers themselves.3

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “A year ago the government committed itself to producing a green paper to tackle the safety of young drivers which has yet to be published.”

“Our whole system of learning to drive must be overhauled to provide safe exposure to a wider range of traffic situations, but also the chance to discuss attitudes and risks. New drivers feel invulnerable and it is the job of government, training providers, insurers, charities and parents and carers to ensure they have the best training to reduce risk to themselves and others.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. Survey undertaken by Vision Critical, total number of respondents: 1027. We polled younger drivers aged 18-25.
2. Northern Ireland Road Safety Strategy to 2020: Annual Statistical Report 2013: http://www.doeni.gov.uk/ni-road-safety-strategy-to-2020-annual-statistical-report-2013.pdf
3. Reported Road Casualties, Great Britain: 2012 Annual Report: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/269601/rrcgb-2012-complete.pdf
4. The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.

ENDS ALL

Media contacts:
IAM Press Office – 020 8996 9777
press.office(at)iam(dot)org.uk
ISDN broadcast lines available
iam.org.uk

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Tanvir Nandra
Institute of Advanced Motorists
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