Road Safety News
 

Positive results revealed in IAM report

Thursday 6th January 2011

A 33% drop in fatalities since 2008 for drivers in the 16-19 year old bracket is one of the key findings in a new report published by the IAM.

The report, ‘Younger and older road users’, also reveals that fatalities for drivers in their 70s and aged 80 and above have fallen by 25%, and 22% respectively.

The report also identifies the greatest risks faced by young and elderly road users.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “While these reductions are really positive, we must continue to support these drivers, who are among the most vulnerable on our roads. The fatality rate continues to be highest for 16-19-year olds, followed by the over 80s, but for very different reasons.

“The greatest risk to the oldest age group is as a pedestrian. In comparison, younger people are much more at risk as a driver or as a passenger in a car driven by a young driver.

“The greatest risk to pedestrians is car drivers under 30 who are involved in more than a third of pedestrian fatalities.”

The IAM says that during their teens and twenties, the risk of young drivers being killed halves every five years as they gain more driving experience.

Mr Greig continued: “This lends weight to the IAM’s call for post-test training to be made compulsory in a form similar to that of the system in countries like Austria, where reductions of up to 30% in young male driver fatalities has been achieved.”

Between 20 and 50 years of age, the rate of deaths declines for all road users except for motorcyclists.

Mr Gregg added: “Young male drivers continue to be the most high-risk group, and are more than twice as likely to be involved in a fatal or serious injury crash as young female drivers.

“A renewed focus on young drivers, which provides them with opportunities to gain further experience in a controlled and safe environment, is of utmost importance.”

For more information contact the IAM press office on 020 8996 9777.

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In reply to David, Suffolk.
What evidence do you have that young driver's "most are taught how to pass a test". As a hard working ADI I can tell you that we do not all train young drivers just to pass a test. We do teach driving skills to go way beyond the DSA driving test. Most of the faults we have to deal with are of attitude and this has been instilled in the driver years before they even get near a driving wheel. A lot of bad behaviour actually comes down from the example set by the parents.
Stephen Hodgson, Surrey

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I would like to see drivers actually being taught how to drive: at present most are taught how to pass a test and then called upon to take post-test training to make them safe at the wheel. The very need for post-test training is proof that the current system is inadequate.

Young drivers, the group at highest risk, are not instructed, for example, in how to safely judge cornering speeds, or how to overtake well. Valuable time is spent on perfecting manoeuvres like reversing around corners and turning in the road, the inability to do which is hardly a matter of life and death.

The whole process of learning to drive and driver education needs a radical overhaul, not just little tweaks here and there.
David, Suffolk

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It would be interesting to know how many vehicle miles were travelled over both periods of time by the various age groups surveyed. I wonder if the cost factor of driving may have an influence. This alone would account for a certain number of people in both the young and the old cutting back on their access and use of vehicles. That motorcycists have not reduced by a proportionate amount may also be due to youngsters falling back on the cheaper option of two wheels over four. Good for them - less congestion, but correct training is vital.
Derek, St Albans.

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