Sixty-two per cent of young male novice drivers think they are more skilful than the average driver, according to the IAM’s latest report, The fast and the curious: young people’s attitudes to driver training. Only 32 per cent of young women say the same.
Young, novice drivers are the highest risk group on our roads, and male drivers between 17-29 are more than twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured as young female drivers*. Thirty per cent of car occupant fatalities are drivers aged 17-24, or passengers of a driver aged 17-24*1, yet this age group makes up only eight per cent of all driving licence holders*2.
The report also highlights the fact that young drivers are much more likely to take post-test training if there are proper financial incentives – reduced insurance premiums would encourage three-quarters of young novice drivers to consider further training.
IAM chief executive Simon Best, speaking at the IAM’s annual lunch today, said: “Young male drivers suffer from a lethal combination of overconfidence and inexperience. They don’t need curfews and other restrictions on their driving; they need to practice and gain driving experience safely.
“There are many paying thousands of pounds a year in insurance and killing themselves. The solution to this problem is to link driver training and insurance discounts.”
But this training needs to be done early. Fewer miles driven since passing the practical driving test and fewer attempts to pass the practical driving test (more likely to be a first time passer) make drivers more likely to be positive about further training.