Young Drivers Insurance

Surviving being a young driver in the U.K.

Surviving being a young driver in the U.K. can be quite an achievement. Various statistics and research studies have demonstrated that younger drivers, especially males, have relatively more accidents than older drivers do. The 17-25 year age group are two to six times more likely to have an accident than members of any other age group. These accidents frequently involve fatalities or personal injuries to self and others.

The majority of accidents involving young drivers seem to be caused by characteristic behaviour. One study showed that 17-19 year olds were the most likely group to lose control on bends and have accidents in the hours of darkness, especially on rural roads. On the other hand, 20-25 year olds were most likely to be involved in rear-end shunts and right-turn accidents.

These accidents are more likely to be related to recreational driving and social lifestyles rather than due to other causes, such as poor visibility. Studies have demonstrated that nine out of ten accidents in the U.K. are due to driver negligence. This negligence includes speeding, tailgating, and driving while impaired by fatigue, illness, drugs, or alcohol. It also includes driving without qualification and driver distraction. The remaining leading causes are poor road or weather conditions, mechanical failure, and poor road design or layout, which young drivers often fail to properly adapt their driving speed to.

Peer pressure has been accredited with making numerous young drivers guilty of this type of aforementioned negligence. In one insurance companyís study, one out of three 17-21 year olds admitted to driving differently when with friends. According to this study, over twenty percent stated they paid less attention to the road when driving with friends as passengers. Fifteen percent admitted to illegal manoeuvres, while seventeen percent admitted to driving without seatbelts when with friends. A quarter of the surveyed drivers admitted to taking their hands off the wheel while driving. Ninety-seven percent stated that they strictly follow all driving safety regulations when their parents or grandparents are the passengers.

The 2001 Green Flag Report on Safe Driving claimed that sixty-four percent of young drivers will probably drive while being tired. The report also stated that young drivers are more likely to drug or drink drive than other drivers. The statistics also imply that many of the young drivers involved in fatal accidents in the past five years did not have a licence, as the rate of incidents increased while the rate of licensing decreased.

If a young driver is going to survive being on the road after getting his or her licence, then there are certain precautions he or she must follow. The first precaution is to learn how to stay humble instead of becoming cocky about their driving skills and new found freedom. Just because someone is able to go out for a recreational drive does not mean that person should go for one. The driver should first take into consideration what all that drive may entail.

The person should think of the weather and road conditions, length of trip and time of day. He or she should also consider what may be influencing his or her driving skills, such as fatigue, ill health, drugs, or alcohol. The young driver must get into the habit of making wise choices on when, why, and how to use their driving privileges, and therefore avoid taking unnecessary risks.

If a group of young people intend to drink or take drugs, then they should designate a member of the group to be responsible for staying sober and driving everyone else home. Better yet, they should all make arrangements to just spend the night wherever they may be partying at, so no one is put at risk of a car accident. Drugged or drunk passengers can cause as many accidents as drugged or drunk drivers.

Another precaution a young driver needs to take is to resist the temptation to give into peer pressure or to show off to friends. The easiest way to do this is to remember that sometimes the best thing a person can do for a friend is to simply say no when the friend wants to do something irresponsible. This could save their lives as well as the young driverís life.

As for showing off, most people are more impressed with maturity and wisdom than they are with carelessness, foolishness, and stupidity. Most people do not like it when someone else puts their lives in danger needlessly. The best way to impress anyone is to show you really care about keeping them safe and alive.

The third precaution a young driver should take to ensure surviving on the road is to gain as much safe driving experience as possible. Even after getting a licence, a young person should display a P-plate from 6 months to 2 years. The person should also take more advanced professional driving courses which expose them to various types of driving situations, including mechanical failure and congested traffic. If possible, young drivers should also avoid driving without a more experienced driver in the car until the newness of having a licence wears off.

Thousands of bits of information are constantly being received by a personís brain at any given moment in time, so a young driver needs to be able to filter out non-essential information. This non-essential information can come in many shapes and forms, such as sounds, sights, and smells. To help keep the level of distraction down, the young driver should set up some rules that apply to anyone riding in the vehicle.

These rules should include no eating, drinking, or smoking allowed in the vehicle while it is in motion. All mobile phones should be turned off until the final destination has been reached. All passengers should be asked to keep the noise level to a minimum, and only talk to the driver if absolutely necessary while the car is in motion. Basically, the driver should eliminate any avoidable distraction, either by using rules or modern technology.
 

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