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Too Many Passengers Die in Teen Driver Crashes

Recent analysis by the RAC Foundation has revealed that in 2013, as many as 234 teenage car passengers were killed or seriously injured when the young driver (17-19) they were travelling with was involved in a crash. This is more than four each week.

When casualties of all severities are included, the annual figure apparently rises to 2,144 or around 41 each week.

The data also shows that of all teenage car passengers killed or seriously injured over this period:

  • 45% were passengers in cars driven by 17-19 year-olds (1.5% of all full licence holders)
  • 23% were passengers in cars driven by 20-24 year-olds (5.8% of all full licence holders)
  • 31% were passengers in cars driven by drivers aged 25 and over (92.6% of all full licence holders)
  • 1% were passengers in cars driven by drivers aged 16 and under

Previous research for the RAC Foundation shows that while teenage drivers (17-19) make up only 1.5% of full licence holders, they are involved in 12% of accidents where someone is killed or seriously hurt.

One in five newly qualified young drivers will have an accident within six months of passing their test.

“The coalition Government repeatedly promised to publish a green paper on young driver safety and repeatedly failed to do so,” commented Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation. “In the meantime young people have continued to die. We would urge the new Government to do what the last one did not and debate the subject formally and publicly.”

“The increasing take-up of telematics-based insurance may help cut young driver accidents but graduated licensing has shown consistent promise around the world,” he said.

“Graduated licensing has been common in many countries for some time and would help keep newly qualified young drivers, and their passengers, safe during the critical first thousand miles after people have passed their test,” he added. “It is a tragedy it has not been introduced or even debated as a policy option.”

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