Young driver crash rates declining but ‘urgent action’ still required

12.00 | 13 August 2015 | | 2 comments

A new study has found that while young driver crash rates are declining more rapidly than those for older drivers, the ‘inequalities gap’ between the two groups remains ‘large’.

The study, Young driver crash rates in Great Britain: trends and comparisons between countries’, has been carried out by Dr Sarah Jones from Public Health Wales, and published in the Journal of Transport & Health (paid for article).

In the study, police crash data for 2000 to 2013 was used to calculate the numbers of collisions involving young drivers (17-19 years) and older drivers (20+ years). Annual driver licensing data, obtained through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for the same period, was then used to calculate three year rolling average crash rates for both groups.

The results show that for Great Britain, young driver crash rates dropped by 61.4% between 2000-02 and 2011-13, from 42.1 per 1,000 to 16.2. For older drivers, the drop was 45.1%, from 6.5 to 3.6 (per 1,000).

The report concludes that “urgent action is needed if the inequalities (between young and older driver crash rates) are to be addressed and the burden of road traffic crashes, injuries and deaths on health and health services is to be reduced”.


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    Peter is right to point out that the report fails to adjust for distances driven. This might well be because no such data is available, but that does not alter the fact that its omission is important.

    As salary levels and type of employment almost certainly mean that the youngsters cover less mileage than the older drivers is also significant, in that this makes their crash rate per mile even worse in comparison.

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
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    Annual driving licence data is useful but access to, and mileage undertaken in, a vehicle by each age group would be more accurate. My daughter now 21 has a provisional licence and having left university is considering whether to learn to drive or not. Her licence was and is used as proof of age. I also have neighbours who have given up driving for age related issues but still hold licences. Let’s look at journey times and distances.

    The conclusion refers to crash rates through collisions then jumps to injuries. The impact to the health services is injuries. The fine line between a collision and an injury collision could be many factors from vehicle condition, speed, drink, drug/medicines etc.

    It is a good report but seems to be too focused. Discuss

    Peter Westminster
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