Winston Solicitors LLP expressed its support for the proposal after a survey showed that more than half of the accidents involving younger drivers were due to either poor reactions or errors at the wheel.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) commissioned the survey and found that accidents which involved driver error were highest in drivers aged in their 20s and fell significantly when looking at those in the 40-60 age group. Those aged below 20 have a 15% greater chance of being involved in an accident due to their own bad driving than those who are older.
The survey also examined the specific causes of the accidents caused by younger drivers and found that losing control and speeding in unsuitable conditions were major factors as well as applying the brakes suddenly.
The IAM says that overall drivers aged between 17 and 25 account for only 15% of all drivers but they are involved in 30% of all accidents and 40% of insurance claims. The road safety charity is of the view that giving driving licences to this particular age group without offering additional help is putting “far too many young people at unacceptable risk”.
It is a view supported by Winston Solicitors. Partner Martin Nolan said: “When you consider the statistics its pretty clear that there is a problem with young drivers many of whom are passing the driving test when clearly not ready to drive unsupervised. More needs to be done to improve the testing and training criteria.”
A separate IAM report, entitled Licensed to Skill, used police evidence to analyse 700,000 accidents between 2005 and 2009 and found that while speeding was inevitably a major cause of fatal accidents, going too fast for the particular conditions such as speeding round a sharp bend or in dense fog was seen to be more relevant. In total, driver error or reaction was recognised as being a factor in 65% of all fatal collisions.
The IAM statistics illustrate the importance of road safety and recent figures from the Department of Transport offer hope that more people are heeding the message to take extra care on the nation’s roads. The figures show falls of 10% and 5% respectively in the numbers of people killed or seriously injured in reported road accidents in the year ending March 2011.
The total number of casualties was 208,150, which represented a fall of 5% on the year ending March 2010. There was also a 5% reduction in the number of injury road accidents which were reported to the police.
For more information about claims involving road traffic accidents as well as information about the services on offer at Winston Solicitors LLP, please contact Martin Nolan on 0113 320 5000 or visit http://www.crystal-
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