Inexperience a key factor in youth crashes

Sep 02, 2009
Young drivers are 15 times more likely to have an accident once they move from their learners to a provisional licence.

(PhysOrg.com) -- A University of Adelaide (Australia) study has found that young drivers are twice as likely to have an accident during their first few months of driving on a provisional licence than after a year of driving experience.

Craig Kloeden from the University's Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) says the high crash rates show that many newly-licensed young drivers are still too inexperienced to handle a vehicle safely.

"The study indicates that it is many hundreds of hours before young drivers become competent in a vehicle."

The current requirement for learners to gain their provisional licence in South Australia is 50 hours of driving, but this will soon be increased to 75.

"Given that young drivers are 15 times more likely to have an accident once they move from their learners to a provisional licence there is a strong case for extending the length of the learner phase even more," Mr Kloeden says.

In the study of 50,000 young drivers aged 16-19 over a five-year period, CASR also found that two types of crashes were commonplace among drivers in the first 12 months of gaining their P-plate: veering off the road and hitting fixed objects; and failing to correctly negotiate a right-hand turn across traffic.

"By the end of their first year of a provisional licence, these types of accidents were far less common," Mr Kloeden says. "It demonstrates that time spent behind the wheel is a very important determinant of crash risk."

While traffic offences related to driving skill (such as failing to indicate and give way) also decreased in the first year of a provisional licence, speed, alcohol and seat belt offences all increased among the young drivers.

"Giving our youth extended, supervised experience on the road and instilling in them safe driving behaviours early on are key factors to reducing the youth road toll," Mr Kloeden says.

"Raising the provisional licence age to 18 and having a maximum speed limit of 80 km/h during the first year of would also greatly reduce the number of youth crashes."

Provided by University of Adelaide (news : web)

Explore further: Election surprises tend to erode trust in government

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Drivers ignore the risk of mobile phone use

Dec 11, 2006

A George Institute road safety study has revealed an alarmingly high rate of mobile phone use amongst Australian drivers. Published in the Medical Journal of Australia this week, the survey conducted in NSW and WA found ...

Risky driving puts P-platers at high danger of crash

Jul 23, 2009

Australia's largest study of young drivers has shown that risky driving habits are putting young drivers at a significantly increased risk of crashing, irrespective of their perceptions about road safety. The study surveyed ...

Study to make public roads safer for farmers, drivers

Nov 18, 2008

Population growth and significant increases in development across the country are leading to changes in traffic and driving behavior in many areas where motorists share the road with farmers moving their equipment – changes ...

Hazards on the road ahead

Jul 25, 2007

Learner drivers are being invited to test how good — or bad — they are at spotting potential hazards on the road, with the help of University of Nottingham researchers.

Family and friends set the speedo

Dec 11, 2006

If your family and friends approve of speeding, then chances are you are more likely to plant your foot on the accelerator, a study by Queensland University of Technology has found.

Recommended for you

Election surprises tend to erode trust in government

16 hours ago

When asked who is going to win an election, people tend to predict their own candidate will come out on top. When that doesn't happen, according to a new study from the University of Georgia, these "surprised losers" often ...

Awarded a Pell Grant? Better double-check

Jul 23, 2014

(AP)—Potentially tens of thousands of students awarded a Pell Grant or other need-based federal aid for the coming school year could find it taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form.

Perthites wanted for study on the Aussie lingo

Jul 23, 2014

We all know that Australians speak English differently from the way it's spoken in the UK or the US, and many of us are aware that Perth people have a slightly different version of the language from, say, Melbournians - but ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Simonsez
5 / 5 (1) Sep 02, 2009
Did someone get paid for this novel scientific conclusion?
deatopmg
1 / 5 (1) Sep 03, 2009
nothing like stating the obvious!

"Raising the provisional licence age to 18 and having a maximum speed limit of 80 km/h during the first year of driving would also greatly reduce the number of youth crashes." HUH? Was there an un-reported age gradient in the number of 1st yr accidents?

One could lower the age to 14 or increase it to 28 and the number of crashes would be the same since it is driving EXPERIENCE, NOT age that affects driving (or any other skill based activity) ability.