Graduated driver licensing would have less of an impact now, in terms of reducing casualties and collisions, than if it had been introduced in 2014.
The report assesses the potential gains to be had from a range of typical graduated licensing components used either singularly or combined.
It estimates that the introduction of a ‘full GDL system’ could currently result in 281 fewer people killed and seriously injured (KSI) each year in collisions involving drivers aged 17-19 years. The comparable number in 2014 was 433.
The total number of casualties could fall by as many as 2,733, compared with 4,478 in 2014.
Looking at specific elements of GDL, the implementation of night time driving restrictions (no driving between 9pm and 6am unless accompanied by a 25-year-old) could lead to 126 fewer KSIs and 894 casualties annually.
Passenger restrictions (no 15-24 year old passengers unless accompanied by a 25-year-old) could see KSIs fall by 137 and total casualties by 1,226.
Elizabeth Box, head of research at the RAC Foundation, said: “Given the renewed focus on GDL, we’ve used the latest available road safety data to update previous estimates of the potential casualty and collision reductions GDL might bring in Great Britain.
“The new analysis does not go beyond updating the figures. We have not sought to explain the changes, though they could be related to factors including safer vehicles, lower mileage rates among young drivers or behaviour change caused by greater use of telematics insurance.
“Further study is required to understand the underlying trends behind this change and the RAC Foundation will continue to conduct research into the general topic of young driver safety.”