The number of accidents caused by or involving young, newly qualified drivers seems to be on the increase. The 17-24 age group accounts for over 27% of personal injury car insurance claims which exceed £500,000. Statistics show that an 18 year old is three times more likely to be involved in a car crash than a driver in their forties.
Not surprisingly then, the Association of British Insurers (ABI), which consists of over 300 members, has called for new young drivers to be bound by more stringent rules.
So what are the ABI proposing?
Well firstly they recommend that new drivers (age 17-24) undertake driving lessons for a minimum period of 12 months before being able to take their driving test. These lessons can be with a driving instructor or a friend or family member who has been driving for at least three years. This would in turn lead to the banning of intensive driving courses which currently permit a learner to sit their driving test after completing an intensive one or two week course of driving lessons.
They would also like to see the introduction of a graduated driver’s license. This would place limitations on the young driver for the first six months of passing their test. Such restrictions include a limit on the number of passengers that a driver is allowed to carry, and a curfew on young drivers on the road between 11pm and 4am. It is also felt that a stricter alcohol limit on this age group would help secure a reduction in the number of accidents and insurance claims.
The ABI are also proposing lowering the age a young person can apply for their provisional licence from 17 to 16.5 years old.
If such proposals are accepted and enforced, it will hopefully result in a better trained generation of drivers. With less accidents and insurance claims this would in turn result in lower insurance premiums for these young drivers and better road safety for all.