Overconfident youngsters ‘putting lives on the line’

Monday, April 28, 2014 - 16:05
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COCKY: Youngsters feel they are better drivers

Overconfidence remains rife in young drivers, a new survey has revealed, with 71% believing they are better than the average motorist.

The poll, by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and Vision Critical, has found Britain’s most confident young drivers are from Northern Ireland.

In the country, 87% believe they are better than average, despite figures showing 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.

However, despite such universal confidence, figures also show that young drivers are 2.5 times more likely to be involved in a serious crash.

“Our whole system of learning to drive must be overhauled to provide safe exposure to a wider range of traffic situations.”

Simon Best, IAM

Simon Best, Chief Executive of the IAM, 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.”

The study also found 75% of young male drivers think that they are better than average driver, compared to just 68% of young women.

However, while 8% of drivers are under 25, they account for 22% of drivers involved in serious injury and fatal crashes – despite driving, on average, half the distance of older drivers.

Nearly a quarter of all car drivers who died in 2012 were young drivers.

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