The Young and the Reckless

Published: 15/12/2011

According to the latest report by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), “The Fast and the Curious: Young people’s attitudes to driver training”, 62 per cent of young male and 32 per cent of young female novice drivers believe “they are more skilful than the average driver.”

There has been much discussion about the liability of new drivers and the necessary steps needed to try and reduce the number of road accidents involving this minority group.

Despite making up just 8 per cent of all driving licence holders, 17-24 year olds make up 30 per cent of all car occupant fatalities, with 17-24 males twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured in a road traffic accident than a female of the same age.

Simon Best is the Chief Executive at IAM:

“Young male drivers suffer from a lethal combination of overconfidence and inexperience. They don’t need curfews and other restrictions on their driving; they need to practice and gain driving experience safely.

“There are many paying thousands of pounds a year in insurance and killing themselves. The solution to this problem is to link driver training and insurance discounts.”¹

The Driving Standard Agency (DSA), with the help of insurers, has devised the Pass Plus scheme. Aimed at new drivers, the six-module course expands on the driver’s initial training by covering such advanced and tricky driving situations such as motorway driving, city centre driving, driving at night and driving in bad weather. Once the driver passes the course, they may then be able to claim a discount on their car insurance.

“The Fast and the Curious” report highlighted this kind of financial incentive was the main driver for considering courses like Pass Plus; three-quarters of young novice drivers indicated they would consider further training if it would help them reduce their insurance premiums.

¹IAM (Dec 2011)

Content correct at time of publication

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