Young drivers at greater risk of drink-drive related collisions

10.19 | 10 October 2018 | | 2 comments

Young drivers are six and a half times more likely to be involved in a drink-drive related collision than someone in their 40s, new analysis by insurethebox suggests.

Published to mark the annual abstinence month – Go Sober for October – insurethebox says its analysis provides a timely reminder for young drivers to refrain from drinking and driving.

The telematics insurer also says the majority of drink drive penalties occur in the early hours of Saturdays and Sundays – times that are proven to be the most dangerous for young drivers.

The analysis, based on insurethebox claims data, shows collision risk ‘increases threefold’ at night for under 25-year-olds – compared to a 50% increase among drivers over that age.

Simon Rewell, road safety manager at insurethebox, said: “Reducing road deaths and reducing drink driving are intrinsically linked. We know that telematics has the ability to change driver behaviour, and therefore has a powerful role to play in helping save lives.

“We also know that male drivers are most at risk of getting behind the wheel after having a drink, although females are also at risk.

“As well as significantly increasing the possibility of an accident, the impact of being found guilty of drink driving could include imprisonment, a fine of up to £2,500, a driving ban, and an increased insurance premium when the driver does get back on the road.

“It could also jeopardise an individual’s job if they drive for work.”



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    The young drivers referred to in the headline are drivers aged 17-19. Insure the Box calculated that this age group is 6.5 times more likely to have a drink-driving related collision than the over 40s using a mixture of government produced STATS 19 data on drink driving and proprietary claims data.

    Using the STATS 19 data on drink driving accidents in 2014, we see that the drink driving accident rate per mile driven is 7.6 times higher for 17-19 year olds than for 40-49 year olds. Insure the Box then used in-house claims data to take out the effect of the underlying difference in accident frequency for these age groups. This gave an impact caused by drinking, which is 6.5 times higher for 17-19 year olds than for the over 40s. Similarly, we see the impact for 20-24 year olds is 5.3 times higher than for those over 40.

    The government has recently released updated figures from 2016 and these show a similar, although reassuringly slightly improving, trend.

    Insure the Box have looked separately at the collision risk at night. We have seen that the collision risk increases threefold at night for under 25 year olds, and by 50% for over 25 year olds. This is based on in-house claims data and includes all collisions whether or not drink driving was involved.

    Whilst drink driving convictions are more common during the night time, drink driving still occurs during the day and the government does not produce drink driving stats by age and time of day combined. This means that we are unable to split the drink driving risk into a risk caused by driving at night and a risk solely due to alcohol.

    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Unfortunately for Insure the Box this is a bit of a woolly article and it seems there no report available to read to back it up. Are the young drivers referred also those under25? Are the stats for under 25s that have a 3x times higher risk a mixture of drinkers and non -drinkers? Can we conclude that the stats also saying that under 25s driving at night are generally 3 times more likely to have a collision and roughly double that if they have exceeded the drink drive limit and been caught doing so?

    A bit more clarity would be useful.

    Pat, Wales
    Agree (4) | Disagree (0)

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