A new report published today (3 June) provides an in-depth insight into the challenges facing young drivers living in rural areas.
The report – ‘Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast’, published by Road Safety Analysis – provides a comprehensive summary of the types of collision involving rural young drivers, and is designed to equip road safety stakeholders with the tools to target the issue. It is a follow-up to earlier research conducted by Road Safety Analysis in 2012 (Young Drivers Road Risk and Rurality).
The report comprises detailed analysis of elements involved in rural young driver collisions, compared to urban young drivers and rural adult drivers. It also includes contributory factor analysis and breath test data provided by the Department for Transport.
In addition, the DVLA granted Road Safety Analysis access to licensing information at super output area level, providing a new insight into licensure differences between urban and rural communities.
Comparing rural young drivers with their urban counterparts, the report shows that rural young drivers are 58% more likely to be involved in a collision on a rural road; 68% more likely to be involved in a collision on a road where the limit is 60mph; and 27% more likely to be involved in a collision where a junction is not involved.
Rural young drivers are also 28% more likely to be involved in a single vehicle collision than urban young drivers; and 16% more likely to provide a positive breath test after a collision.
The report also highlights that rural young drivers are more likely to be involved in collisions on bends, in the dark and on wet roads, than their urban counterparts.
However, the report points out that some of these factors appear to be a function of living in the countryside as they also feature in rural adult driver collisions – but to a lesser degree.
Certain factors – such as collisions on bends, in darkness, on wet road surfaces, and where ‘loss of control’ is a contributory factor – appear to be due to a combination of age and rurality.
Recommendations in the report include a graduated driver licencing system, a specific rural driving test, more transport options for young people living in rural areas, telematics based insurance products and the use of alcolocks.