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Younger drivers far more likely to cause passengers' death

Figures highlighted by the charity show that the number of drivers aged 17-24 killed in an accident has decreased by 10% since 2010.

In the same time frame, the number of 17-24 year old passengers killed in a car with a young driver (aged 17-24) has decreased by 24%. Younger drivers are more likely to travel with passengers of a similar age but the risk goes up with every extra passenger. A study from the USA showed that a young driver’s chances of being killed went up 44% with one passenger, 90% with two and 300% with three or more.

In 2012, 133 drivers aged 17-24 were killed alongside 71 young passengers.  The previous year (2011), there were 148 drivers aged 17-24 killed as well as 93 young passengers.

The IAM said that these figures are still completely unacceptable, with new drivers far more likely to cause their passengers' death than any other age group. New drivers and their passengers also have far more life changing catastrophic crashes with lifelong injuries than any other age group.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: ‘Road safety has been improving for everyone in the UK in recent years and that is reflected in the improved situation for new drivers. But, it’s worrying that our younger people are still at such high risk of causing death and injury to themselves. These figures show an urgent need to improve awareness of the risks for younger drivers and their passengers.

‘We know that inexperience and overconfidence are significant factors in crashes among the younger age group and addressing this issue must be a top priority. By delaying its Green paper the Government has missed a great opportunity to provide better training, more support and learning from a younger age. In the meantime parents and young people should follow the IAM’s tips for young passengers to maximise the chances of survival.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.