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Young drivers 2.5 times more likely to be in a serious crash

According to a survey by Vision Critical and road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), 71% of young drivers think they are better than the average driver. Yet they are 2.5 times more likely to be involved in a serious crash.

Britain's most confident young drivers are in Northern Ireland where 87% think they are better than average, yet they make up 26% of those involved in crashes.

Britain's least confident young drivers are from Wales where 56% think they are better than average.

Other findings include:

  • 75% of young male drivers think that they are better than average driver
  • 68% of young women think they are better than average driver

Contrary to the confidence of younger drivers, official figures show that:

  • While 8% of drivers are under 25, they account for 22% of drivers involved in serious injury and fatal crashes. They also drive, on average, about half the distance of older drivers each year.
  • Nearly a quarter of all car drivers (133 out of 542 drivers) who died in 2012 were young drivers themselves.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: ‘A year ago the government committed itself to producing a green paper to tackle the safety of young drivers which has yet to be published.’

‘Our whole system of learning to drive must be overhauled to provide safe exposure to a wider range of traffic situations, but also the chance to discuss attitudes and risks.  New drivers feel invulnerable and it is the job of government, training providers, insurers, charities and parents and carers to ensure they have the best training to reduce risk to themselves and others.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.