View Full Version : Young drivers and 'accidents'

9th Mar 2015, 09:16
With the recent fatal road traffic collision in south Wales highlighting the high incidence of accidents involving young, inexperienced drivers, is it not time to raise the age which drivers can be let loose on the roads? Or at least place some restrictions on when, where and what they can drive?

I realise the latter may be VERY difficult to implement in any practical way but it cannot be beyond the wit of man (and some on JB) to devise some mechanism to reduce this accident rate.

joy ride
9th Mar 2015, 09:25
I do not think it is the age which is the problem, I think it is the performance levels of modern vehicles. When I was learning how to drive late sixties/early seventies, you were lucky to afford a car which could go much over 70 mph. Modern cars tend to be regulated DOWN to 140 mph (despite our national speed limit of 70 mph!) and have astonishing levels of road holding and control compared to 60s vehicles, but when something does go wrong the results are catastrophic.

P6 Driver
9th Mar 2015, 09:30
It would be very difficult for police to monitor drivers of any age in the future as more severe cutbacks take place. "Black box" monitoring might help to instil responsibility but again, who will monitor it, and how?

In the meantime, "stupid is as stupid does", and we can look forward as always, to more Darwin Award nominations.

9th Mar 2015, 09:32
I believe some countries have a law where young, or inexperienced drivers are forbidden to carry passengers unless one of them is over a certain age or has a certain level of experience.

That might be the way to go.

9th Mar 2015, 09:36
Take leave to disagree with Joyride here, to the extent that just about every teenager is convinced (s)he is immortal. (Else there would be even more difficulty in recruiting to the Armed Services!) But that being said, we do have the immense difference between the performance - and inbuilt safety - of even cheap modern vehicles and those I learnt to drive. My Morris 8 in the late 50s had a top speed of 35mph. But typically we saw then horrific pictures of people being crushed when the engine was driven back onto the driver, or drivers being impaled on the steering column.
Ironically, it's the same safe design of today's vehicles that contributes to the driver's willingness to take risks.
Without looking up the figures, I'm pretty sure that the accident rate on (the much more crowed) UK roads today is half that which obtained 30 years ago.

9th Mar 2015, 09:42
But surely, age IS a problem! The incidence of accidents among young drivers is significantly higher than average. Undoubtedly due to inexperience.

The recent tragic fatalities involved a 17 year old driver less than a week after passing the driving test. Young driver with almost zero experience. Older drivers with little experience tend to have the maturity to realise it and drive accordingly.

9th Mar 2015, 09:52
I rolled my first car precisely 10 days after passing my test. It had a maximum speed of around 65 mph and I went of the road at about 40 mph (sideways) and rolled over into the ditch and then across a field on my roof.

Fortunately all that was hurt was my pride and I learned a very hard and expensive lesson. I was lucky.

The 'black box' technology to monitor driving is cheaply available and some insurance companies offer good deals for young drivers when it is fitted to their cars. Knowing your driving is being monitored has a remarkably sobering effect. The libertarian in me dislikes the fact it is the thin end of the wedge.

Unfortunately learning to drive and passing your test ill equips a driver for much more than the basics. Further training is well overdue for not only newly qualified drivers after a suitable period gaining experience but also for a good majority of drivers who have been driving for years!

Hands up anybody who believes they have nothing to learn or gain from further training.

Skills lacking which I witness every day:

Lack of forward observation, tailgating, excessive speed for the conditions,
lack of ability to safely overtake on anything other than a dual carriageway or motorway, lack of use of indicators, lane discipline to name but a few!

9th Mar 2015, 10:02
In the past I've given first driving lessons to all my offspring, before sending them off with a professional instructor.

As they sat in the driving seat for the first time, I asked them what they considered to be the most dangerous weapon we can legally own (in UK).

The answer is, of course, the vehicle we drive.

I recently heard my 29 year old son asking someone else the same question so hopefully the thought has remained with all of them.

After passing the driving test (they all did), I insisted on them driving with me on motorways before doing so themselves. They all said it was a useful exercise. Since twenty years or so ago I do much of my own road mileage on motorways and know that an additional set of driving skills and level of awareness are needed, especially when joining and leaving and in heavy traffic, which often seem to catch out inexperienced drivers.

The very thought of a bunch of young teenagers in a fast car in today's road conditions sends a shiver down my spine.

9th Mar 2015, 10:31
I do not think it is the age which is the problem, I think it is the performance levels of modern vehicles. When I was learning how to drive late sixties/early seventies, you were lucky to afford a car which could go much over 70 mph. Modern cars tend to be regulated DOWN to 140 mph (despite our national speed limit of 70 mph!) and have astonishing levels of road holding and control compared to 60s vehicles, but when something does go wrong the results are catastrophic.

Age (or rather the inexperience that comes with the lack of it) IS the problem, just as it is with flying.

It's a fact that younger people assess risks differently, are less influenced by past experience (simply because they haven't much) and so are more likely to have accidents. What's worse, they are less likely than older people to learn from them having had a near-miss or accident and change their driving/riding/flying practices as a consequence.

I've known some right tearaways involved in several potentially risky activities (riding motorcycles, driving, horse riding and flying) and with one singular exception they have all become more risk averse as they have gained experience.

The insurance companies don't load up the premiums for young drivers without good cause, there is a lot of evidence that inexperienced drivers (who are, by definition, more often than not young) are more likely to have accidents.

9th Mar 2015, 10:54
A factor not mentioned so far is the availablity of computer games - 'X' Box etc. These games allow youngsters too young to drive to experience the simulated thrill of high speed driving. Unfortunately, they are not a realistic simulation of the behaviour of a real car driven at high speed.

Our youngest daughter was a rear seat passenger in a BMW 535 driven into a tree by a 17 year old idiot who had passed his driving test the previous day. Fortunately everyone in the car survived, but the two in the front suffered serious injuries.

When youngsters play high speed chase games such as "Grand Theft Auto" that involve high speed car chases through urban streets and leave the road in the game, there are no real consequences. They simply give youngsters who have never driven a real car, a belief that they do have the skills to drive a car at 140 m.p.h. Unfortunately, when they try it in a real car and the inevitable crash occurs, they often take some other poor innocent road users with them.

9th Mar 2015, 10:56
It seems to me that the problem is "I have passed the test,therefore I can drive' syndrome. Were as we the oldies know that you pass the test,then you learn to drive:cool:

9th Mar 2015, 10:59
In Northern Ireland (which many people forget is part of the UK), new drivers have to carry 'R' plates (restricted) for 12 months. They are restricted to 45mph during that period. New proposals to alter this are as follows

'New' drivers and riders
R plates will be replaced by N (for ‘New’ driver/rider) plates which you must display for two years
as a new driver (under 24 years old) you will not be allowed to carry passengers aged 14 to 20 (except immediate family members) during the first six months after you have passed your driving test and got your full licence
this restriction will not apply if there is a supervising driver (aged 21 years or older and who has held a full driving licence for three years) in the front passenger seat
there will be exemptions for appropriately trained emergency services drivers
you will have to take a remedial course if, as a new driver, you are at risk of having your licence revoked because you have accumulated six or more penalty points

All seems pretty sensible to me. Also in NI learner drivers can already have driving lessons on motorways, which you currently can't do on the mainland.

9th Mar 2015, 11:08
Don't know what planet some of the posters here live on blaming the young, but most of the poor driving I see on the roads (tailgating, lack of indicator discipline, poor motorway joining/exits etc. etc.) all seem to originate from people who are no longer "young".

Also at one point I took to the air with an elderly gentleman as PIC who quite frankly should have ceased flying a long time ago, a whole litany of errors and omissions ensued .... including at one point him having lost so much situational awareness that he just threw his paper map on my lap and asked me to figure out what frequency he ought to be calling next !

Nobody is perfect, not the young, not the middle-aged, not the old ... we're all humans and the more elderly ought to spend less time sneering down at the young !

9th Mar 2015, 11:36
Don't know what planet some of the posters here live on blaming the young, but...I think we live on the same planet as everyone else - there is absolutely no question that young drivers have considerably more accidents than older drivers -do you think that Inusrance companies load the premiums of young, inexperienced drivers because they are ageist or maybe becuase they represent a much greater risk from analysis of the massive amount of claims history they have?

9th Mar 2015, 11:42
Young chap at next desk to me wrote off his car over the weekend. Not madcap driving, just inexperience that led him to make an unjustified decision at a road junction.

40 years ago I made a similar mistake, which I must say, I have never repeated. Life is a life-long learning experience. :)

9th Mar 2015, 11:45

The insurance companies can only go on what they have (old claims data of various vintages... that gets occasionally aggregated into industry-wide statistics every few years).

You also have to remember that the industry uses age as a proxy, to make the underwriting process simpler, to quote an ABI document :

Customers benefit from insurers using age as a proxy because:
•It simplifies the underwriting process, keeping the cost of cover low for everyone.

• It enables a wide range of organisations, including non-insurance specialists, to distribute the product, maximising customer choice.

• It avoids more intrusive approaches to assessing risk – for example, full medical assessments

So simply saying "just because the insurance companies charge younger drivers more......" is not really a valid argument, because they are merely using age as a proxy to make their life easier, rather than necessarily reflecting the reality of young (or old) drivers !

There will no doubt be a number of old-fart incidents that never get as far as the insurers claims departments because the old fogies are scared of losing their no-claims bonus and so go down the "self-insure" route and fix the damage themselves out of their own pockets (or just live with the dings and scratches as is common to see on bat-mobiles).

Similarly, on the older front, the ABI say :

At the other end of the spectrum, older drivers pose greater risks than middle-aged drivers: the average cost of a claim by an 80 year old is almost 50% higher than that of a 60 year old.

Risk declines rapidly from 17 to 21 and continues to decline through to the late 50s or early 60s before starting to increase again.

If you look at the associated ABI graph, the risk does indeed decline rapidly. And thereafter, the 29-39 range looks the same as the subsequent increase in the 60+ range.

As I pointed out, the average standard of driving I see on the roads from people who are no longer "young" is far from perfect .... so it may also be a case of luck rather than good judgement that they've not been involved in an accident yet. As eyesight degrades and your reactions slow, your prospects of having an accident will increase...

As blacksheep says "Life is a life-long learning experience" ... if the old farts think only the young have something to learn about driving, then they are delusional !

(ABI document : Age and Insurance: Helping older customers find the cover they need)

9th Mar 2015, 11:51
I thought it was because we had all made our mistakes when we were younger? We fogies do have accidents (or accidings) but the youngsters tend to have the really serious shunts that write cars off. In my own 'learning experience' the entire front was torn off when I poked my nose out at a junction.

Of course there are the really old fogies who mistakenly take the exit lane and then drive down the wrong side of the motorway, but I think we can put that sort of thing down to senile dementia.

9th Mar 2015, 12:03
Mixture, you are correct in saying that the young do not have exclusivity on poor driving, however I do believe that statistics indicate that serious and fatal accidents involve a higher number of young drivers (under 25) than older age groups.

As an 'older driver' (60+) and one who has driven in numerous countries worldwide and held some 6 different country driving licenses I do think that standards in the UK are worsening for all the reasons you mentioned ( tail-gating, no indication, poor lane discipline etc.). The question is : How can we improve?

1) Older driving age? (21+)
2) Frequent testing?

1) would be political suicide for any party that even suggested it!
2) would be economically impractical

Any other suggestions?

9th Mar 2015, 12:17

I think perhaps once you reach mid-50s / 60s it could be as simple as being given the choice of :
(a) higher insurance premiums
(b) a refresher / review day once every 10-15 years (down to every 5 years once you start to get really wrinkly).

Some of the worst driving I've seen in the "western" world has been in the US where everyone of every age drives in an abysmal manner ! I was there in January, eating lunch by the window in a restaurant and I was staggered to see an articulated lorry delivering beer to a restaurant park across two lanes of a three lane dual carriageway ... the driver happily jumped out of the cab and went off to do his deliveries !

9th Mar 2015, 12:26

Falling into the mid-50s/60s age group I am not sure I like your first suggestion:) and I think the second, whilst eminently sensible falls into the 'Too expensive' box.

I don't have the answer, just a lot of questions!

9th Mar 2015, 12:35
It is amazing how often the proposed solution to accidents by inexperienced drivers is to raise the age for acquiring the driving licence. However, this fallacy does suggest a useful solution, that of giving youngsters lots of supervised off public road experience before they acquire a licence.
It worked for me. I started driving at 10, got my first pupil through her driving test when I was 12 years old, and had a very fast car at 17 (hence my sarcastic user name!).
And right now, at the end of our road, a young lad has just passed his test and has "P" plates up front and rear. Super responsible? Not really, because they are plastered over front windscreen and rear window.
Definitely a Darwin Award candidate.

9th Mar 2015, 13:02

Your suggestion is very sensible except for the cost aspect. Who will pay for all this off-road experience gaining ?

I know it is a simplistic approach ( and is that not what politicians end up adopting?), but raising the driving age to 21 would add 4 years to the maturity of new drivers, which MUST reduce the number of young fatalities if for no other reason than under 21s could not (legally) drive.

( I think I may need to enter the slit trench/bomb shelter rather quickly now to avoid the inevitable 'incoming'!)

9th Mar 2015, 13:20
Whilst raising the minimum age for driving is understandable, many people rely on driving to get to and from work, thus it would inconvenience or prohibit many from so doing.

Of course, they could use a moped or motorscooter - or even a motorcycle - which would give them experience of how it means to be a motorcyclist - but the casualty figures for motorcycles are worse than for cars, so it might be counterproductive.

What is needed is a vehicle with severely restricted performance that is cheap to produce.

The old post-War 'invalid carriage' was not particularly fast.

Maybe someone could come up with a scheme to recondition original Minis with restricted engine performance?

I believe that the French have 'microcars' that can be driven on provisional licences (http://www.boston.com/cars/newsandreviews/overdrive/2011/09/french_microcars_legal_for_unlicensed_drivers.html).

9th Mar 2015, 13:22
Raising the age doesn't fix the experience problem.
You don't get better by not driving, just as you don't get better at flying by not flying.

Insurance rates on this side of the pond do reflect various classes of risk that are higher, one of which is age and gender in terms of using statistics to assess risk of accidents, and thus higher premiums.

It's profiling, as the police do, and it turns a tidy profit.

9th Mar 2015, 13:36

"Raising the age doesn't fix the experience problem"

But it does inasmuch that 21 is an increase of 23% more life time.

9th Mar 2015, 13:38
Iím surprised no-one has mentioned peer pressure.

One arrogant young idiot who thinks that heís gods gift to driving is bad enough.

Put several of them together, all trying to show off to each-other and youíve got a tragedy waiting to happen.

9th Mar 2015, 13:40
I wonder how much cell phones and the "art" of texting has to do with accidents involving young people?

9th Mar 2015, 13:48
The two most recent events are very different.

In one, several youngsters were 'driving in convoy' (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-31782700) - presumably 'competitively'.

In the other, a 21-year-old driving had four young teenagers (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-31792155) (aged 13 to 14) as passengers.

Agreed, the situation seems to occur when groups get together for 'mass transit' - even if it is just four or five in one vehicle - whilst the driver attempts to show off.

Restricting the number of passengers would resolve part of the problem, but not necessarily the first event above.

Insurance companies restrict the type of vehicle performance available to young drivers by charging high premiums, but, even so, we see 'souped-up' versions of low-capacity models being driven noisily around the streets.
I admit that I was one when I was that age.

9th Mar 2015, 13:53
smeagol, that doesn't matter, you don't get the experience without doing it. Two of the most careful drivers I know are teenagers, both female. They drive scared and defensively. Never go above the speed limit. (MY wife's two nieces). What's weird is that their mother is a poor driver. She gets in fender benders a lot. A bit of a ditzy gal, but a good egg all around.
Their dad is a cop.

9th Mar 2015, 14:03
I guess that a lot of youngsters, and their parents, would be queuing up to spend their money if such a scheme could be organised. As ever, getting insurance might be difficult for the organiser, but perhaps a state subsidy would be a worthwhile investment.

PS Police son-in-law had to break the tragic news to parents time after time.

9th Mar 2015, 14:08

I think we are slightly 'at cross purposes'.

I agree that one cannot gain experience of a specific activity without 'doing' it, but I was referring to an additional 4 years of life and generally growing up and generally achieving a more mature outlook and attitudes.

Obviously this is a generality and we will all know exceptions, mature 17 year olds and childish 65 year olds!

west lakes
9th Mar 2015, 14:09
I guess that a lot of youngsters, and their parents, would be queuing up to spend their money if such a scheme could be organised


Young Driver Scheme - Driving lessons for 15 & 16 year olds in Essex (http://www.youngdriverscheme.org/)

Young Driver Schemes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Driver_Schemes)

Strangely enough there is even one in Edinburgh which the daughter of some friends attended


9th Mar 2015, 14:14
Bring on driverless cars, please. Every driver be they 16 or 80 think they are above average, regretfully half of them are wrong.

Machines, which talk to each other, will save thousands of lives a year - and I can have a couple of glasses of fine wine with my dinner, and then be driven safely home

9th Mar 2015, 14:20
The point is, however, that most (not all, I agree) of young men just want to get behind the wheel of a car and drive fast - they are not interested in the associated training that might make them safe.

Safe-driving schemes are not for the sort of youngsters that want to soup-up their banger and 'cruise' around the streets attracting young girls to want to ride with them.

Just as provisional-licence motorcyclists are prohibited from carrying unlicensed passengers (which was a major problem when I was a youngster), it would seem that restricting passengers might be necessary.

9th Mar 2015, 14:31
Fact remains that the highest cause of death for young men (16-24) in the UK is an RTA.

Check out this link (http://www.racfoundation.org/assets/rac_foundation/content/downloadables/road%20accident%20casualty%20comparisons%20-%20box%20-%20110511.pdf), and in particular the graph at Fig 6.

Kind of explains the insurance loading........

9th Mar 2015, 14:35
Please correct if I'm wrong on this, Motor bike riders, after passing their bike test are limited to a certain CC if under 21 If correct why not new car drivers?

9th Mar 2015, 15:00
Whilst raising the minimum age for driving is understandable, many people rely on driving to get to and from work, thus it would inconvenience or prohibit many from so doing.

Granted. However were the driving age to be raised, I would suggest to 19 or 20, then the demand for public transport would rise, as the leg-less darlings would need to find other (wheeled) forms of transport to get them to their destinations. More demand would lead to more services.

Would a rise in the driving age be politically damaging? No, because your average teenager can't be bothered to vote or engage in mainstream politics.

At the other end of scale, whilst it would be equally desirable to ensure that all over 70s were regularly retested and given enforced medicals to ensure they remain fit to drive - this would be extremely politically damaging as most over 70s do vote.

What is clear is that for as long as I can remember, the local news on Saturday and Sunday morning has been littered with stories of how trees, walls, and other obstacles jumped out and hit unsuspecting teenagers on the way home after a night out. I have long thought that either raising the driving age, or making psychological tests part of the driving test to ensure learners are mature enough to be allowed to drive would go some way to reduce this senseless slaughter, and that of other innocent victims.

Finally, sad to see that whilst the nation has gone into national mourning for the deaths of 3 teens, one of whom seemingly was driving the missile, the plight of the 68 year old lady who was a victim, and her family is being largely ignored in the (national) media. Why?

9th Mar 2015, 15:02
Photogenicity, ATNotts, if there is such a word. Poor little lambs.

9th Mar 2015, 15:15
Photogenicity, ATNotts, if there is such a word. Poor little lambs.

Crickey! I though I was a cynic!

9th Mar 2015, 15:17
Raise the driving age to 19 or 20?

What about the 18 year old who gets sent to Afghanistan, or the next world hot-spot, to have his or her ass shot off? Good enough to take a round or two but not good enough to drive?

Almost as pathetic as the drinking age law here in the US - most States - of 21. Old enough to die for "God and country" but not quite old enough to have a beer.


9th Mar 2015, 15:19
I'm afraid that the deaths of three teenagers will always have more emotional clout than that of one senior citizen, regardless of where guilt lies.

Effluent Man
9th Mar 2015, 15:33
Higher performance is the big factor I think. £300 will buy you fifteen year old BMW328i that will comfortable do twice the speed of my first road car, an 1132cc Beetle. It would touch 65mph as long as you didnt have a headwind. I suspect that this "convoy" was actually a road race.

Loose rivets
9th Mar 2015, 16:02
Road to improvement if not a total solution might be:

For the first 6 months

1/ Drive to and from work. 2/ Drive for training or pleasure purposes with an experienced driver over 21 years of age occupying the front passenger seat. 3/ Only drive alone during daylight hours except where 1/ applies.

The new driver must A/ Have insurance arranged specifically for them as policy holder.*

B/ Must not carry any passenger under the age of 18 unless it is an immediate member of family and permission has been given by parent or guardian for every trip.

C/ Not consume any alcohol and not drive to a place that sells alcohol to be consumed on the premises.

*Hopefully, such stringent rules would mean a reasonable rate for the new driver.

Bust any of these, and you're back to square one. Nanny state it might be, but the death rate is bewildering. Parents put a lot of their lives into getting their kids to that stage. They should be the first to endorse such measures. Especially the insurance thing. A huge claim on their insurance will likely cost them for the rest of their lives.

9th Mar 2015, 16:19
You need to LOWER the driving age. Learners at 14 or 15 and licence at 16.

That means that people learn on their parent's car, and their parents have a greater degree of control over them (and where and when they drive) - and they have a couple of years of experience (and an understanding of the responsibility) before they are permitted to drink.

Canada, the United States, El Salvador, Israel, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Estonia, France, Norway, Slovenia, Australia (certain states and territories), and New Zealand have the lowest minimum driving age, ranging from 14 to 16 years.
List of countries by minimum driving age - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_minimum_driving_age)

9th Mar 2015, 16:46
Loose Rivets - check out proposals for these sorts of changes in Northern Ireland in my post 12. Cant see why we don't follow suit on the mainland

9th Mar 2015, 16:52

What you say re lowering the driving age does have some logic regarding the parental control and gaining experience whilst monitored aspects.

However.....I wonder how the UK insurance industry would perceive the risks and load the premiums? Should not be excessive as the driver would be monitored at all times but I suspect the costs would be high.

Krystal n chips
9th Mar 2015, 18:51
The problem with all the suggestions and proposals, all valid with one notable exception ( we could be discussing Tibetan flower arranging and no doubt a reference to combat etc would appear ) is how they would be enforced in practice.

The causal factors are many and varied and as other have said, the vehicles available to young drivers must play a part....there has been some significant improvement from the 850cc of uncontained power available on my Mini Clubman estate for example.

That said, what is the current standard of instruction like ?

Equally, education would help...education as in public information films that stress that death and serious injury are not pretty sights.

9th Mar 2015, 18:59
What do other (European) countries do?

How do their death statistics compare?

9th Mar 2015, 19:06
Hmm as someone who attended a Speed Awareness course recently, got flashed by cops to slow down on M40 and also has 3 points looming for speeding elsewhere not heeding warnings I can see I am just as much part of problems as young un's. However all were on Motorway and do notice i am slower now on occasions.

It was interesting that on Speed Awareness course a question asked was Annual death toll on UK roads.

Group I was in at my prompting said 2000 rest were between 15-25,000. Actual is about 1750.

I agree with the no passenger rule BUT maybe anotehr idea is that change the car number plate to show driver less than 2 yrs driving. Insurance companies do not ask for License number on insurance, maybe time to do it so have < 2 yrs on License then gets flagged via DVLA.

Road accidents is big killer for young people.

9th Mar 2015, 19:08
How do their death statistics compare?

With great difficulty, because different countries have different ways of measuring 'death'. It's years since I looked at these numbers, but, from what I remember, some countries only counted those dead at the scene, while others counted those who died of injuries weeks later, and the rest were somewhere in between.

So, as usual, international statistics are very hard to compare, except for those who are just using them to create a media sound-bite to support a political agenda.

9th Mar 2015, 23:27
Prompted by Racedo's post, just had a look at the UK govt stats since 2000.
Fatalities halved in the time since then. c 3,400 in the year 2000. That seems to include all road users. Shocking though even one death is, this seems to prove the roads are pretty safe?

10th Mar 2015, 00:02
Regarding the idea of learners or post test youngsters driving parental vehicles: having looked into this not too long ago, the insurance costs of doing so are horrendous. I bought another old car in the lowest insurance group for less than the cost of adding offspring to my existing car policy and insured that instead. The car has to have a "normal" policy for me to drive and a second supplementary policy for when the offspring drives as a learner.

Insuring a youngster post driving test is also eye wateringly expensive.

10th Mar 2015, 00:14
One of the school-friends of my son was allowed out in his father's company car (any driver insurance) immediately after passing his test.

Of course the inevitable happened and he stuffed it through a hedge - fortunately without serious injury to the occupants (not including my son).

The lad involved was a quiet lad - not the sort you would expect to go wild, but he just overstepped his capability.

The message went around that "If Hugh can screw up, then so can others" and it seemed to act as a damper on the others.

There was, however, an incident where a lad drove a car over a drop of about six feet (in the school grounds) landing on the main road - at low speed, so again, without serious injury.

10th Mar 2015, 00:56
..... Insurance companies do not ask for License number on insurance, maybe time to do it so have < 2 yrs on License then gets flagged via DVLA.

Road accidents is big killer for young people.

I think that is about to change, from what I was recently told by my insurance broker use of licence number will introduced on a voluntary basis but likely to become mandated. It would appear that a lot of people tell lies when declaring their driving history ( ... oh yes they do!). Having to declare licence number would prevent those who would try to hide some of their history.

Apparently points don't always make prizes!

Loose rivets
10th Mar 2015, 01:13
Tanker Yes, some of my 'logic' was based on your post. :ok:

there has been some significant improvement from the 850cc of uncontained power available on my Mini Clubman estate for example.

Bastard thing! For some unknown reason, I suddenly said I'd take my wife's Clubman to Luton instead of my E-Type. Got nicked for being late in over double white lines. Erm, more than once. From one of the hottest cars to one with an anchor dragging in the road. Not a good call.

Metro man
10th Mar 2015, 01:32
Australia and New Zealand have restrictions on new drivers, who must display special plates indicating their status. They have restrictions on speed, alcohol and number of passengers in the vehicle.

The statistics show accident figures for drivers 17-21 are carnage, there is noticeable drop from 21-25. After 25 the figures dip slightly and remain fairly level until 65-70 where they start climbing noticeably.

In future I can see "black boxes" becoming mandatory on new cars either by law or insurance companies refusing coverage. Dash cams are becoming increasingly popular as well.

Eventually I can see an "air traffic control" for cars with GPS tracking and routes being offered depending on congestion. Speeds could be adjusted at all stages of the journey and roadworks automatically avoided. Parking availability could be displayed and all costs including tolls and congestion charges would be billed monthly.

10th Mar 2015, 03:16
The "average" brain is not fully developed until around 23-25 for males and 21-22 for females

One of the last things to develop is an ability to correctly assess risk - perhaps helping to explain why 18 year olds believe themselves to be invulnerable.

We see some (very few) old heads on young shoulders in their teens and some in their mid-40's who aren't too adult.

Training will help but driver-less cars are probably the most cost-effective answer (unless we have some new chemicals to make brains mature faster?)


10th Mar 2015, 05:20
It seems to me that the problem is "I have passed the test,therefore I can drive' syndrome. Were as we the oldies know that you pass the test,then you learn to drive

I agree with that sentiment. When I learned to drive 1959/60 there was a book available in the 'Teach Yourself' series, (black and yellow dust jacket, hardback), inside the front page it said, words to the effect, "Once you have passed your test it takes a further five years to learn how to drive". Further into the book it went on to say that the five years of driving would need to cover just about every eventuality, fog, heavy rain at night, icy conditions, snow and so on.

10th Mar 2015, 05:33
We have a school-based program here where the kids can get a Learner's Permit at 15 and a Probationary License at 16.

All three of the CoodaKids went through it and none have been involved in a serious accident in 13, 10 and 7 years respectively of driving. All have full no claim bonuses, although the youngest still has the under-25 penalty to deal with.

The youngster was even accused by his late teen peers of being a "nanny driver". I was quite happy to hear that. :E (But he's having the last laugh, as he's on track to shortly commence FJ training with the local air force.)

Get them on the roads earlier and they can develop good habits while still timid. Wait until they have discovered birds and booze and you can't teach them anything.

10th Mar 2015, 12:10
when I was in my mid to late teens, just before I was able to legally commence driving lessons, I was taken on a long-ish journey in a Vauxhall Ventora by a chappy with "sporting driving" aspirations. He drove somewhat more enthusiastically than my parents ever had in a car which, to me at the time, seemed much more powerful than most people's family saloons. I was awestruck and put the Ventora onto my wish list for when I passed my test. When I did pass my test I enquired about insurance for such a car and was totally priced out of the market.

I just looked up the spec of the car. It had the 3.3 litre 6 cylinder engine which produced, wait for it, a massive 123bhp. Wow. I never did own a Ventora but did get to drive one, once, when I had a Saturday job cleaning cars for a local garage. It was still awesome.

At the time, in the mid 70's, the "ordinary" family versions of the car were powered by 72bhp 4 cylinder engines.

How times have changed, my ordinary family estate car is 165bhp and feels short of oomph and my "enjoy my driving" car runs to twice that. My insurance cost for both cars comes in at less than my first quote for the Ventora that eluded me all along, I guess my age and unblemished driving record have something to do with that.


Effluent Man
10th Mar 2015, 16:54
Cars have put on a lot of weight.The average mid sized saloon currently tips the scales at around a ton and a half kerb weight.That is around 50% more than say a Cortina Mk 2 1600.

10th Mar 2015, 17:05
Give it ten years and NO ONE will be driving - problem solved ;)

Mercedes' Self-Driving Car Says Hello to San Francisco (http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243751)