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Cockiness and inexperience key causes of young driver carelessness, IAM poll claims

By Kyle Linsay
Friday, August 16, 2013 - 11:00

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COCKY?: Are young drivers too confident?

Inexperience and overconfidence are the main reasons new drivers are the riskiest group of road users, according to new Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) research.

In an IAM poll, 86% of respondents claimed inexperience is a key issue for new drivers, while the same percentage believed young motorists are too confident.

Respondents also rated peer pressure (67%), immaturity (52%) and shortfalls in the learning process (45%) as being important risk factors.

Tellingly, 68% of respondents lack faith in the current driving test as being an adequate system to produce safe drivers, reflecting a wider dissatisfaction with the learning process.

When asked to rate how well new drivers are taught using a scale of one to ten, 57% of respondents rated it as a five or below.

The idea of a minimum learning period split opinion, with 31% believing the period should be six months and 30% believing it should be at least a year.

Poll results also showed support for restrictions such as stricter drink-drive limits for younger drivers, with 49% believing the threshold should be lowered.

Meanwhile, 71% support restrictions on the amount of passengers newly-passed drivers can carry, while 47% support a night curfew.

Simon Best, Chief Executive of the IAM, said: “Our survey has shown that 69% of motorists lack faith in the current system which marks a clear need to review the learning process.

“It is clear that motorists want to see more restrictions on younger drivers, but this will not solve the issue alone.

“There needs to be a lifelong learning approach to driving that starts at school and continues through experience and coaching into the higher risk early days of solo driving.

“The more experience of driving that young people get the safer they will be in the long run.”

Image courtesy of kenjonbro, with thanks.

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