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Babes at wheel, brains in the boot

2014-04-25 09:32

'OF COURSE I KNOW HOW TO DRIVE!' 70% of youngsters in the UK think they drive better than the average adult yet are twice as likely to crash. In reality, they're just babies behind the wheel. Image: Shutterstock

LONDON, England - About 70% of young drivers in Britain think they are better-than-average drivers.

According to a survey by Vision Critical and road safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists, youngsters are 2.5 times more likely to be involved in a serious crash yet they still think they are better behind the wheel.

Britain’s most confident young drivers are in Northern Ireland, where 87% think they are better than average, make up 26% of those involved in crashes, said the study.

HARD FACTS

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

Other findings from the survey include:

• 75% of young males think they are better than average
• 68% of young women think they are better than average
• While 8% of drivers are under 25 but they account for 22% 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 of 542 drivers) who died in 2012 were young drivers.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "A year ago the US government committed itself to producing a Green Paper to tackle the safety of young drivers. It has yet to be published.

“Our whole system of learning to drive must be overhauled to provide not only 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 the government, training providers, insurers, charities and parents to ensure they have the best training to reduce risk to themselves and others.”
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