According to insurers, we’re way overdue a shake-up of driving policy, where our learner drivers are concerned. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is dissatisfied with the number of deaths and crashes attributed to the mistakes of 17-24 year-olds. Now, they’re calling for stricter policy on driving at night and allowed levels of alcohol.
In a slightly more liberal twist, they also suggest letting young drivers learn half a year earlier, so they can have time to learn driving more safely. Driving is the single biggest killer of young adults in the country, and ABI maintains that a car is a ‘lethal weapon’ to many inexperienced motorists. This insurance company also adds the incentive of lower insurance costs, if a yearlong tuition was to become the norm.
Which Reforms Do Insurers Want To See?
To begin with, insurance companies want to do-away with intensive driving courses, and introduce a ‘graduation’ licence, and after six months of driving, a ‘pass’ licence. They would also like to limit the amount of young passengers a young person can keep in his or her car. And introduce a ban for driving between 11pm and 4am in the first 6 months, unless they are driving to work or to their place of education!
Unsurprisingly, they also want no blood alcohol levels during the first 6 months. But instead of waiting for your 17th birthday, you can start learning at 16 and 6 months.
As young drivers are a danger to themselves and others (statistically), insurance companies want to rein them in, so they will hopefully cause fewer accidents.
How Lethal Are Young Drivers?
According to statistics, 18 year-olds are three times more likely than a 48 year-old to be in a car crash. One-third of drivers killed in car crashes are under the age of 25. This is a staggering statistic, considering that under 25s only account for one-eighth of drivers.
Young drivers are far more likely to be involved in personal injury claims that are higher than £500,000. Whether that’s for head or neck injury claims, when young people are involved in car crashes, they tend to cause a ripple effect of serious injuries.
However, the president of the AA says that there should be more of a focus on teaching young people safer driving practices, rather than imposing restrictions when they get on the road. Other than being a more effective solution, it’s also more practical, as these restrictions would be extremely challenging to police and could put more of a strain on our law forces.
Of course, there are many, many responsible, safe young drivers on the road. But the proof is in the pudding. Whether youthful fearlessness, lack of experience, or a bunch of bad apples warp the statistics – and cause so many deaths on the roads – who knows? Either way, some resolution should be put forward to stop the tragic loss of so many young people on the roads.