According to a new report from ABI, the Association of British Insurers, there needs to be a complete overhaul in the way that young people are taught to drive. They believe that young drivers should have a learning period that lasts at least 12 months, and they stress the need to lower the high casualty risk that exists among young drivers, which in turn will lower their insurance premiums.
The report, entitled ‘Improving the Safety of Young Drivers’ , also includes such suggestions as restricting driving at night, lowering the limit of alcohol and a complete ban on taking intensive driving courses as the sole source of learning. The ABI says that a driver aged 18 is 3 times more likely to be in a crash than a driver of 48, and their research has shown that 27% of insurance claims for personal injury for over £500,000 have resulted from crashes that involved drivers aged between 17 and 24.
ABI have proposed these changes to our system after studying the way that other countries, including the US, Australia and New Zealand, have tried to improve their road safety for younger drivers. These measures have included lowering the age for learner drivers from 17 to 16 ½, as well as restricting how many passengers a young driver can carry in their car.
Otto Thoresen is the Director General of ABI, and he says that radical action needs to be taken to reduce the tragic loss of young lives on our roads, especially in the 17-24 age group. He added that many forget that a car is actually a potentially lethal weapon, and we must all do more to help younger drivers deal with the dangers of driving better, and by improving safety their insurance cost will be lowered, so everyone’s a winner.