Road Safety News
 

Survey highlights young driver concerns

Tuesday 12th August 2014

90% of young drivers think motorway driving should form part of the driving test, and 91% believe that mobile phones are the main distraction for young drivers, according to a survey carried out by the National Accident Helpline.

In the survey of 1,000 young people aged 17-24yrs, almost 85% of respondents said that the “P” plate (signifying a ‘probationary’ driver) should be mandatory for newly-qualified drivers – and 36% even said that the legal driving age should be raised.

On the subject of driver distraction, 66% of respondents believed that listening to loud music was a major distraction to young drivers, while 53% identified chatting to other passengers as diverting focus away from the road. And more than half of respondents said they had been in a vehicle when the driver used their mobile phone to send a text message.

70% of respondents also believed that drivers should be re-tested annually over a certain age, with 71% suggesting that age should be 70yrs.

When ranking the most important features when buying a car, respondents highlighted fuel economy as their primary concern, followed by safety features, the car’s style and appearance, environmental impact and sound system.

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I would think that the P plate would be a useful and constant reminder that a young driver is not the finished article. It helps focus the mind of the driver, people who may wish to share a car with the driver and also those driving alongside.

My personal preference is for the P plate to be linked to GDL, but even if it was simply a stand alone requirement (not linked to GDL) then it would be a very low cost initiative that would surely offer some benefits. And as shown by the article it is actually supported by young people! As this is the least contentious young driver safety idea, what are the barriers to promoting it through legislation?
pete, liverpool

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