PARENTAL SUPERVISION: A survey in Europe says young drivers are more likely to drive better when with their parents or grandparents are accompanying them. Image: Supplied
Brentwood - Research shows that worldwide, car crashes are the leading cause of death among young people, with a higher proportion dying on the roads during summer holidays than at any other time of year.
Drivers in the UK are the most likely in Europe to be distracted by "attractive pedestrians", and the majority of road accident fatalities involve young men, according to research by the European Road Safety Observatory.
The summer period has a significantly increased risk with almost two thirds of young people saying they are more relaxed driving during the holiday months.
In Europe, this segment accounts for 8% of the total population, but 15% of all those killed in road crashes. In the summertime, the problem gets worse as 18 - 24-year-old account for 21% of all deaths on the road in summer.
Risky behaviour has been identified as a key factor behind the statistics, which also show that from 2004 to 2013, 62 000 young people were killed in road accidents in the European Union.
According to the report by European Road Safety Observatory, poor reading of the road, impairment from substances or stress and distraction are among the most common factors in accidents involving young drivers.
Ford commissioned a survey of 6500 young Europeans to better understand the risks they take. This shows that 57% have exceeded speed limits, 43% have sent a text while driving, 36% have taken calls and sent instant messages, 16% have driven without wearing their seatbelts, 13% have driven after drinking, and up to 11% have watched videos or TV shows on their devices.
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Up to 57% of young drivers also admit they drive more safely with parents or grandparents in the car, and 41% said they would take more risks with friends in the car. For this reason Ford has created a new spoof video to showcase the virtues of “Blown Ups.”
This fictional product is an inflatable grownup, triggered to expand when young drivers are reckless behind the wheel; and serves as a reminder of the expanding DSFL programme.
Young men distracted by attractive pedestrians
A total of 93% consider they have good driving skills – but 54% admit they are not always as safe as they should be while driving.
The majority of young driver fatalities involve young men, and the Ford survey confirms they are more likely to engage in risky behaviour. Young men are three times as likely as young women to be distracted by attractive pedestrians; 25% have been stopped by police compared with 16% of women; and they are more likely to speed, use mobile phones while driving, and drink drive.