Driving a bigger threat to teenagers than gun and knife crime

10.04 | 31 July | | | 2 comments

The last decade has seen a 50% increase in the number of people who think driving represents the greatest threat to teenage safety, a new survey suggests.

The survey results, published by the AA Charitable Trust* to mark its tenth anniversary, shows that 17% of respondents believe driving to be the greatest threat to young people – compared to 11% ten years ago.

Driving is now viewed as more dangerous for teenagers than gun and knife crime – which has fallen from 25% to 16% over the same period.

However, driving is perceived less of a threat to teenagers than drugs (39%) and drinking (19%).

DfT statistics shows that 889 young people aged 16-19-years were killed or seriously injured in cars in 2016.

Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, said: “10 years is a long time in the life of roads and driving, but the issues around young drivers have remained prevalent throughout.

“Young drivers have been a particular focus for us and it is good that the message about the risks they face on the roads is finally starting to sink in.

“Young people are far more at risk in a car than they are from gun or knife crime, and being aware of the risks is the first step towards reducing those risks.

“Parents, carers and young people themselves can help manage the dangers teenagers face on the roads through education and driver training.”

The road safety charity Brake says the survey shows the Government must take ‘decisive action’ in the form of Graduated Driver Licencing.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “25 young drivers are killed or seriously injured on our roads every week and yet there is a proven solution which can prevent this, Graduated Driver Licencing.

“Graduated Driver Licensing is proven to work and has public and parliamentary backing. We urge the Government to introduce this safer licensing system as a matter of priority; for far too long,  young lives have been ruined and lost on our roads.”

*Founded in 2008, the AA Charitable Trust campaigns for and promotes road safety and eco-driving.



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    As a young man I replied to a Financial Times article that focused on speed limits 44 years ago, suggesting a graduated licence system be adopted based on education and ability. 44 years later I produced an instrument called ControlPAL to help driving instructors explain where potential danger to the inexperienced lies and therefore how to reduce risk during their pupils early years on the road. 889 young lives lost for doing no more than travelling from a to b is far far more than a terrible waste. Learning to drive is not like learning to ski. An unbalanced car can change direction when you steer. Unbalanced skis can’t – at any speed.


    mike knight, ASCOT
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    Wow..pay attention everyone..it’s another survey which ‘suggests’ something may be the case.


    Hugh Jones
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    +12