Almost one in three young drivers admit to dangerous habits behind the wheel

A new study has found that 30% of young drivers nationally admit to dangerous habits such as driving while tired and speeding.

The report, ’Young people in the driving seat’ is based on data held by the Co-op Insurance from over 60,000 young drivers and which questioned 1,000 young drivers aged 17-25. And despite being a rite of passage for over 6 million drivers over the last decade, when asked about the test itself young drivers are clear – changes do need to be made.

Nationally across the UK, the overwhelming majority (98%) of 17-25 year olds questioned think that they are safe drivers, with 42% of these classing their driving as very safe. That said, when asked to rate their peers driving 70% agree with the generalisation that young people are more dangerous than other age groups.

However, two-fifths admit to dangerous behaviour at the wheel. This includes including driving when tired (28%), breaking the speed limit (24%) and cornering too fast (17%). Male drivers aged 17-25 (43%) are more likely to display these behaviours than females (39%) of the same age.

With over two thousand miles of motorway in the UK, perhaps it is rational that the main addition of motorway driving to the test is the most popular change with three quarters (78%) of young  drivers in the South East and London calling for its inclusion. Over half (54%) want to see both day and night time driving on the test and over half (52%) are calling for a mandatory number of lessons before you can even take a test.

With the driving test now in its 81st year, the report findings have shown just how much driving has moved on in the UK. Over two fifths (43%) of 17-25 year old drivers in the South East and London are now calling for Sat Nav training to be included in the driving test.

Sarah-Jane Martin, spokesperson for Brake, the road safety charity said: “Road crashes are the biggest killer of young people in the UK and worldwide. The research by the Co-op shows that young people agree that the driving test isn’t up to scratch and doesn’t prepare them adequately.

“We know that young drivers are much more at risk of being involved in a road crash that causes death or serious injury than older drivers.”

“That’s why we’re calling for Graduated Driving Licences to be introduced for new drivers.  They have proven successful in other countries, and it’s an obvious way to make our roads safer, preventing many deaths and injuries in the process. We need our government to sit up and take note in order to protect our young people.”

Other stats from the survey show that nationally, young male drivers are more likely to carry passengers (25%), in comparison to females (21%). Drivers in the South East and London prefer passengers (31%), with those in the North of England more likely to drive alone. Young drivers who prefer to have passengers, say they do so because they like having company (72%), they feel safer having somebody in the car (47%), they like having moral support (40%).However the type of passenger does hugely affect the driving style of young people.

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