Peer pressure putting unprepared young drivers at risk

12.58 | 15 October 2009 |

Peer pressure, not wearing seatbelts and poor training are all major factors in the numbers of young drivers killed on the nation’s roads, according to new research by insurer Aviva.

The research looked at young motorists’ behaviour and attitudes to better understand why they drive the way they do.

A third of 17-21-year-olds admitted to driving differently when they have more than one friend in the car.

The results reveal that young drivers are dangerously influenced by peer pressure when driving with friends in the car, with 21% paying less attention to the road, 24% taking their hands off the wheel and 15% performing illegal driving manoeuvres.

Nigel Bartram, Aviva spokesperson, said: “In order to reduce the statistics young drivers and passengers alike need to take personal responsibility for their own actions – this means wearing a seatbelt at all times regardless of who is in the car, driving with fewer passengers and not conforming to peer pressure whilst behind the wheel."

The report also suggests that some young drivers are unprepared for driving, with one in 10 admitting that they wouldn’t have awarded themselves a licence when they passed their test.

According to the young drivers questioned, 27% only had paid driving lessons with no practice time. The results also indicate that some driving schools may be priming students to merely pass their test, with 19% having only practiced on the driving test route with their instructor.

Click here to read the full Aviva news release.


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