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Young driver and passenger death toll falling

Decrease in number of motorists aged 17 to 24 killed since 2010, according to road safety charity report.

Fewer young motorists are getting killed on UK roads. That is according to analysis by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), which revealed the number of motorists aged 17 to 24 killed had decreased by 10 per cent since 2010.

"Where's the booster seat?"
“Where’s the booster seat?”

133 drivers in the 17 to 24 age bracket were killed in 2012, down from 148 in 2011. Young passenger deaths had also decreased from 93 casualties in 2011 to 71 casualties in 2012. Country roads at night were said to be the most dangerous.

The decline was attributed to a number of factors including a ‘general improvement in safety on our roads’, fewer young people passing the test, recession and ongoing safety campaigns and enforcement.

The independent road safety charity was keen to point out there was still work to be done for a group of motorists most likely to kill their passenger. IAM chief executive Simon Best commented:

“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,” he added.

IAM mentioned a US study in its findings that discovered the chance of a young driver being killed at the wheel goes up as the number of passengers increases. Adding one passenger, for instance, increased the chance by 44 per cent, while adding three passengers saw that rise to 300 per cent.

IAM provided a number of tips to make life safer for motorists still wet behind the ears such as keeping the number of passengers to a minimum, refraining from showing the driver stuff on your phone and ignoring peer pressure.

A number of cars like the new Ford Fiesta offer a maximum speed mode that can be initiated when a car is being used by a young driver. Newer cars also benefit from safety systems such as automatic braking and collision detection.

Check out our ten essential tips for new, young or inexperienced drivers.

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