Young Drivers

Young Drivers

Key Facts:

  • In 2015, 15% of all car occupants killed or seriously injured were young car drivers aged 17-25 years. For this age group there were 120 fatalities in 2015, the same as in 2014 and a 13 per cent fall from the 2010-14 average (RRCGB, DfT, 2016). These reductions may reflect the proportion of young drivers with a licence which has decreased since the early 1990s.

  • A survival analysis of the length of time to new drivers’ first accident found three factors were associated with longer ‘survival’ rates: increased age, driving experience (possibly driving in busy town centres and in the rain) and a self-reported driving style characterised as ‘attentive, careful, responsible and safe’.

  • While driver age is a risk factor for collisions (with the youngest new drivers at most risk), the experience drivers gain in the first six months after passing their test plays a more significant role in reducing their collision rates.

  • Evidence from a range of studies suggests that young drivers may overrate their driving ability and see driving as a matter of ‘natural talent’ which can be judged by how confident a driver feels. This has important implications for understanding young drivers’ attitudes in relation to road safety.

  • There is little research evidence that increased formal driver training, before, during and after learning to drive, improves safety. A number of themes have emerged that offer the hope of improving the effectiveness of training, in making training address the cognitive and attitudinal aspects of driving.

  • There is a need for greater clarity about what needs to be learned in order to drive safely and to encourage learners to take responsibility for their learning, through effective progress reporting and self-evaluation.

  • International evidence on Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) indicates an overall effectiveness of GDL in reducing crashes of young drivers. However, the size of the effect varies according to the components of GDL in each jurisdiction


  • Date Added: 03 Apr 2012, 08:08 AM
  • Last Update: 27 Jan 2017, 10:35 AM