Statistics have repeatedly supported the theory that UK drivers, under
the age of twenty five, have a far higher risk of being in a car accident
than those over twenty five. There are many different factors that
contribute to these numbers but most of the time young drivers lack the
ability to comprehend which types of situations make them at higher
risk, and he or she fails to take measures, to minimize the potential
Inexperience is one of the key issues. Young driver
are unsure of
themselves, making them react somewhat slower than their older
counterparts. Since they have not experienced different driving
situations, which people often find themselves in, they have not
established standards of response. An example is a car that quickly
changes lanes, leaving remarkably little room to stop; a young driver,
who has not experienced this problem enough times, can have difficulty
dealing with the situation. Most of us automatically slow down, because
we know that we cannot stop the other driver. An inexperienced driver
does not anticipate such moves and does not slow down, or brakes too
quickly, causing the car to slide. Worse yet, he or she panics and does not stop, or slow
down, and hits the car.
Lack of Attention
Another problem that is common with young drivers is inattention.
Younger drivers tend to travel with friends. They do this, through
car-pooling to school and work, or going out for the night. Having one
or more passengers in the car and chatting with them, is distracting.
This situation can be very problematic for the younger drivers
because they are more
likely to get distracted. Also, their driving skills are limited so they
have a greater need to concentrate on what they are doing, rather than participating in
the conversation. Younger drivers tend to turn their head and look back
at the passengers, when talking which results in their eyes getting taken
off the road and these situations create distractions that tax the limited
skills of the teenage driver. Worse yet, the young driver can end up
running off the road, failing to stop for an obstacle or car in front of
them, or committing other errors that end up causing them to have an accident.
Speeding is a significant problem among the young. They do not seem to
comprehend that they do not possess the skills needed to drive a car, at
a high rate of speed. To compound the problem, teenagers tend to feel
the need to show off for friends, by speeding. The reaction time needed,
to drive a car at a high rate of speed, is intense. In addition, the
driver must be experienced enough to understand how the car reacts, when
speeding. The drive needs to be able to anticipate and react to changing
road conditions. Teenage drivers have usually gained none of these skills
to any great degree and consequently they suffer from higher crash rates, related to speeding.
The type of cars which teenagers driver can be a contributing factor to
their increased accident rate. Generally, the driver gets a used car.
Not all parents think to have the used car thoroughly inspected; and
some serious issues may go unattended. Worn brakes and suspensions can
cause cars to act in ways that are not expected and when combined with
driver inexperience, they became a recipe for disaster. Other potential
problems can include impaired vision, from cracked windshields and
old windshield wipers may not function properly in foul weather.
Driving Late at Night
Late-night driving is common among younger drivers. This creates another
hazard and late-night driving has also been shown to considerably
increase the number
of teenage accidents. Vision is decreased; road hazards are not so
obvious; the driver is sometimes tired, and in a hurry, to get home.
These conditions can make it difficult for the most experienced drivers
and a younger driver can get into trouble very easily under these conditions. Add to
the mix foul weather, an old car, and two or three additional
passengers, and the odds of an accident happening increase drastically.
When it comes to understanding how a car reacts, in various situations,
young drivers have not had enough varieties of
driving experiences to develop appropriate instinctive responses. They tend to be
overconfident, in their driving abilities. It has been estimated that on
average this overconfidence becomes more apparent, about a
year after the young driver has obtained a full licence They become comfortable in their abilities, yet do not comprehend
that they have much to learn. This overconfidence makes them less
diligent, while driving and they begin to do things, such as talk on the
phone while driving, that distracts them. They also become more
aggressive, and take unnecessary risk, such as speeding, cutting in and
out of traffic, and performing other high risk manoeuvres.
Whilst examining how various conditions affect the
younger driver, it is
easy to understand why the accident rate is greater but there are actions
young drivers can take to decrease their risks. One of the most salient
is driver education; there are many different companies that take
driving far beyond the basic driver education format. They help teach
drivers, of any age, how to respond to different driving conditions,
such as foul weather, high speeds, and other common hazards. They teach
defensive driving techniques, which give drivers the skills they need.
Not least of all, if the youngster successfully completes a Pass Plus
course, insurance costs should fall!
Good, thorough car inspections and maintenance will eliminate most
potential car problems related to performance failure.
problems cannot be eliminated, many of them can be addressed and taking
steps to decrease these risks can make the difference between safe
driving and disaster.