Inexperience (86%) and overconfidence (86%) are the main reasons that new drivers are the riskiest group of road users, according to a new poll by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists).
The online poll canvassed opinions of all drivers on the subject of young drivers, and drew more than 2,200 responses.
Respondents also rated peer pressure (67%), immaturity (52%) and shortfalls in the learning process (45%) as being important risk factors.
68% of respondents lack faith in the current driving test as being an adequate system to produce safe drivers, leading the IAM to conclude that “there is a high degree of dissatisfaction with the current system for learning to drive”. When asked to rate how well new drivers are taught using a scale of one to 10 (one being poor, 10 being ideal), 57% of respondents rated it as a five or below.
When asked about the idea of a minimum learning period, respondents’ opinion is split: 31% believe it should be six months, while 36% believe it should be at least a year. 16% of respondents are against the idea of a minimum learning period.
The IAM says the poll showed support for stricter drink-drive limits for younger drivers, with 49% of respondents saying that the drink-drive limit should be lower for younger drivers.
When it comes to the number of passengers younger drivers can carry, 71% support restrictions in the first few months after passing the practical test.
Attitudes were more divided on the idea of a night-time curfew, with 47% supporting the idea while 45% are against any enforced curfew for young people.
Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “Our survey shows that 69% of motorists lack faith in the current system which marks a clear need to review the learning process.
“It is clear that motorists want to see more restrictions on younger drivers, but this will not solve the issue alone. There needs to be a lifelong learning approach to driving that starts at school and continues through experience and coaching into the higher risk early days of solo driving. The more experience of driving that young people get the safer they will be in the long run.”
Contact the IAM on 020 8996 9777 for more information.