Young drivers are at a much higher risk of having a crash than older drivers.

If you have just passed your test you are “on probation” for the first two years. If you are given six penalty points during that time your licence will be revoked and you will go back to being a learner. You will have to re-apply for a provisional licence and take both the theory and the practical driving test again.

The facts:

  • In the UK only one in eight driver licence holders is aged 25 or under, yet one in three drivers who die is under 25.
    (Figures obtained Driving Standards Agency’s press office, 2008) (2007 statistics from the Department for Transport and Police Service for Northern Ireland 2008) 
  • One in five new drivers is involved in a crash in their first year of driving.
    (DSA, Learning to Drive: a consultation paper 2008) 
  • Young male drivers have higher crash rates than young female drivers.
    (Night-time Accidents, Centre for Transport Studies, University College London, 2005) 
  • Young drivers are more likely to thrill seek from driving fast and cornering at high speed than older drivers.
    (Young Driver Attitudes, S. Stradling, M. Meadows DfT, 2001) 
  • Government statistics show that male drivers under 25 have the highest incidence of failing a breath test after being involved in a road crash in which someone was injured.
    (Table 2f, Road Casualties Great Britain 2004 DfT, 2005) 
  • Research shows that the already high crash rate for 16-19-year-olds driving alone is greatly increased when passengers are present. The more passengers, the greater risk of a collision.
    (Doherty, S.T.; Andrey, J.C.; and MacGregor, C. 1998. The situational risks of young drivers: the influence of passengers, time of day, and day of week on accident rates.) 
  • Young drivers have a higher proportion of crashes (many of which are single-vehicle) in the evenings and early mornings.
    (Novice driver accidents and the driving test, G Maycock, TRL, 2001) 
  • Of fatalities, only one-third of young drivers and one-fifth of young passengers were restrained.
    (MCCarrt AT & Northrup VS (2004) Factors relating to seat belt use among fatally injured teenage drivers).

What you can do:

  •  Pass Plus is a training scheme for new drivers designed by the Driving Standards Agency. It aims to teach young people how to deal with a wide range of road and traffic situations and boost their awareness of all kinds of hazards.
    • The course covers: Driving at night, town driving, all weather driving, driving on country roads, driving on dual carriageways, driving on motorways
    • Passing this course can reduce a young driver’s insurance.
  • Get your school, college or place of work to book a Safe Drive Stay Alive presentation This event uses emergency services staff and collision victims to highlight the real consequences of car crashes and is specifically aimed at new drivers and their passengers.